On this Day in Church History Emma and Joseph Smith Jr. were married (January 18, 1827)
Emma’s parents were “bitterly opposed” to her marriage.1 In deciding to marry Joseph she was also deciding to say goodbye to her family, her home, and everything she’d ever known and loved.2
Why would Emma do it? Why elope with Joseph?
I remember the first time I met my husband. It felt like my heart changed shape that day. From then on my life would never be the same. Like Emma, when I got married I also left behind my home and all the plans I’d ever made. We got married and two weeks later we hopped a plane to Germany. Auf wiedersehen.
Isn’t it flabbergasting how our lives change when the heart starts making the decisions?
I suppose, looking back, one could ask if it was worth it.
Emma was interviewed by her son just months before she died. She was 75 years old and Joseph had been gone for over 30 years.
When asked why she married Joseph, she simply replied: she preferred to marry him than any other man.3
She also spoke of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She said that although she was an active participant in the Restoration, it was still marvelous to her, a marvel and a wonder. She didn’t have the slightest doubt that the Book of Mormon was of divine authenticity.4
If you were to ask me if it was worth it to follow my heart I would agree with Emma. I believe the Lord speaks to us through the heart and when we are willing to listen it is marvelous what can transpire. My husband and I will celebrate our seventh anniversary this year. We have built a home, a family, and a life together.
As for Joseph, in 1842 he also spoke of the heart when he recalled his wedding:
“With what unspeakable delight, and what transports of joy swelled my bosom, when I took by the hand on that night, my beloved Emma, she that was my wife, even the wife of my youth; and the choice of my heart.”5
What choices of the heart have you made?
1. “Emma Smith’s Last Testimony,” Feb. 1879, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Independence, Missouri. Published in Saints Herald, vol. 26, p. 289.
2. Church History Topics, Emma Hale Smith.
3. “Emma Smith’s Last Testimony,” Feb. 1879, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Independence, Missouri. Published in Saints Herald, vol. 26, p. 289.
4. “Emma Smith’s Last Testimony,” Feb. 1879, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Independence, Missouri. Published in Saints Herald, vol. 26, p. 290.
5. The Joseph Smith Papers, Reflections and Blessings, 16 and 23 August 1842.
1. Gracia N. Jones, “My Great-Great-Grandmother, Emma Hale Smith,” Ensign, August, 1992.
2. Church History, Joseph and Emma.