The Truth About Joseph’s Smith First Vision

I’ve experienced some defining moments in my life—discovering my testimony of the Book of Mormon, meeting my husband for the first time, experiencing the deaths of my beloved mother and grandmother—the list goes on. Joseph Smith also had many defining moments, but it all began with what has come to be known as his “first…

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Marvelous Light

Last weekend my family participated in what’s called the Nauvoo Exodus Commemoration. Hundreds of people met on this freezing Saturday morning to remember something remarkable—beginning in February 1846 thousands of Latter-day Saints began their journey west in search of religious freedom. At the event we all wore name tags honoring our ancestors whose footsteps led…

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Choices of the Heart

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…

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Beacon of Hope

Today marks the 217th birthday of the Prophet Joseph Smith. My family and I visited the historic Carthage Jail and took our kids on the tour for the first time. I enjoyed watching their inquisitive faces as they explored the rooms and listened to the captivating stories. This year has been a whirlwind of change:…

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Battles of the Heart

Fifteen-year-old Eliza stood at the well near her home in Nauvoo. As she drew water, a canon ball struck her chimney.1 She was living in a battlefield. The Battle of Nauvoo lasted less than a week. Helplessly outnumbered, the remaining Saints, including Eliza and her family, fled to the banks of the Mississippi. Circumstances were…

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Grateful Remembrance

Even though it’s been 177 years since the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, the place where it happened still stands. You would think Carthage Jail would be depressing to visit, but the place is eerily triumphant. I write “eerily” because there is a palpable spirit there. It’s almost unlike anywhere…

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Beautiful & Bright

The other day I had a peculiar experience. I saw a caterpillar climbing a single strand of silk high up into the trees. Because the silk strand was nearly invisible, at first it looked as if he was floating, frozen in mid-air. Upon closer examination I could see how the little guy was using his…

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Fearless Faith

After a windy and rainy Mother’s Day morning, the sun finally came out in time for us to be able to visit the historic sites of the famous and beloved mother of the prophet, Lucy Mack Smith. As we visited Lucy’s grave and one of her homes, I thought about my memories of my mom…

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Sun-Kissed Lonely Tears

On a foggy morning, I gazed at Nauvoo House from the banks of the Mississippi. I stared at the beautiful structure and pondered the image of Emma in her old age: sitting in her rocking chair each night and looking out the windows at the sunset with tears streaming down her face. Ever since I…

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