the thinker

Emma Smith

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“Oh, what a commingling of thought filled my mind for the moment, again she is here, even in the seventh trouble – undaunted, firm, and unwavering – unchangeable, affectionate Emma!”

- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., August 16, 1842, see title page verso of Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery, 1994

“The sympathies of the Latterday Saints are with the family of the martyred prophet. I never saw a day in the world that I would not almost worship that woman, Emma Smith, if she would be a saint instead of being a devil... [We] would have been exceeding glad if the prophet's family had come with us when we left Nauvoo... We would have made cradles for them... and would have fed them on milk and honey. Emma is naturally a very smart woman; she is subtle and ingenious.... she has made her children inherit lies. To my certain knowledge Emma Smith is one of the damnest liars I know of on this earth; yet there is no good thing I would refuse to do for her, if she would only be a righteous woman.”

- Prophet Brigham Young, October 1, 1866, as quoted in Newell and Avery, “The Lion and the Lady: Brigham Young and Emma Smith,” Utah Historical Quarterly, v. 48, Winter 1980, p. 82

“My mother was one of the best poised women I ever met. Of the purest and noblest intentions herself, she never submitted to be made a party to anything low, wrong, or evil, was absolutely fearless where the right was concerned; and was a just and generous mother. Her heart never changed toward her children, and her fidelity to them never wavered. It's needless to say that we loved her.”

- Joseph Smith III, January 17, 1893, see title page verso of Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery, 1994

“Jo stole his wife... while [Isaac] Hale [Emma's Father] was at Church. My wife and I saw him on an old horse with Emma on behind as they passed our house on their way to [be]... married.”

- W.L. Hines statement in Naked Truths About Mormonism, No.1, 1888

“Joseph's wife was a pretty woman, just as pretty a woman as I ever saw. When she came to the Smiths she was disappointed and used to come down to our house and sit down and cry. Said she was deceived and got into a hard place.”

- Lorenzo Saunders affidavit, September 20, 1884, quoted in Brodie, No Man Knows My History, p. 42