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Reaching Out

On this Day in Church History the Prophet Joseph Smith’s adopted son Joseph Murdock Smith died at the age of 11 months (March 29, 1832)

We have arrived! After seven years of living in Germany, I am finally back in America. It’s a strange feeling. It’s kind of like half of me is still in Germany and half of me is here. Nonetheless, I am thrilled to be back.

Now we are living in the small town of Nauvoo. We spent the day yesterday exploring the city and walking along the main street. It was a ghost town. There wasn’t a soul in sight. I was definitely struck with the feeling: what are we doing here? Why did we leave our life behind to come here? I had always thought we would stay in Germany. This wasn’t the plan.

It also wasn’t the plan for the Prophet Joseph Smith’s 11-month-old adopted son Joseph Murdock Smith to die. The Prophet was convinced he died due to exposure to the cold the night the mob ripped the Prophet from his home and tarred and feathered him.1 Little Joseph died six days later.2

Life is so unexpected. Does it ever go according to plan?

The Nauvoo Temple

We ended our walk through town at the Nauvoo temple. I looked up at the towering stone-white walls and there I was struck with the feeling: this is why we are here. Everything changes. Nothing stays the same and often life is a series of unexpected and sometimes tragic events. There is one thing though that never changes.

“Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall.”3

When life seems unsure, confusing, overwhelming, or just plain sad, I can rely on the “rock of my salvation.”4

One of my favorite scriptures of all time is:

“Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.”5

No matter what situation you find yourself. No matter what is going on, He is always there. He is holding out His hand. All we have to do is reach out and take it.

How do you reach out to Christ?

Wishing you well,


My family and I at the Paris Temple


1. Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, vol. 1, The Standard of Truth, 1815–1846 [2018], Chapter 14: Visions and Nightmares, 153.

2. Smith, Joseph Murdock. Biography,

3. Doctrine & Covenants 50: 44

4. 2 Nephi 4: 30

5. 3 Nephi 9: 14

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