A Generous Man
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“A Generous Man,” Liahona, Oct. 2009, F8–F9

From the Life of the Prophet Joseph Smith

A Generous Man

Adapted from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society course of study, 2007), 423–25.

A Generous Man, left page

Illustrations by Sal Velluto and Eugenio Mattozzi

After moving to Nauvoo, Illinois, Joseph and Emma Smith built the Red Brick Store. It served as Joseph’s office and as a business to support his family.

I’ll take 20 pounds of flour, Emma.

Do you need anything else?

James had recently moved from England to Nauvoo with his sister and her husband, Henry. James was not a member of the Church.

We’ve searched for work all day, Henry. I don’t think we’re going to find anything.

Let’s ask the Prophet for help.

James had never met Joseph Smith or been near him before. He felt an overwhelming spirit just by looking at him.

He is truly a prophet of the Most High God.

Brethren, how can I help you today?

Mr. Smith, have you any employment?

Can you make a ditch?

We’ll do our best.

A Generous Man, right page

Joseph took the men a little way from the store and stretched out a measuring tape.

Can you make a ditch three feet wide and two and a half feet deep along this line?

When they finished the ditch, they called Joseph out to inspect it.

I could not have done better myself. Come with me.

Joseph gave the men two of his largest and best pieces of meat and two sacks of flour.

This is too much, Joseph.

We’ll do more work for it.

If you are satisfied, boys, I am.

Because of this encounter with the Prophet’s kindness and because of other experiences in which he felt Joseph’s power from God, James learned the gospel and was baptized and confirmed later that year.