Hyrum Smith was an American religious leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the original church of the Latter Day Saint movement. He was the older brother of the movement's founder, Joseph Smith, was killed with his brother at Carthage Jail where they were being held awaiting trial. Hyrum was born in Tunbridge, the second son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith. Smith received a limited education, established himself as a farmer. Smith attended Dartmouth College in his teens; this may have been one of the factors behind Dr. Nathan Smith treating Smith's brother Joseph's leg. Smith was a close advisor and confidant to his brother Joseph as the latter produced the Book of Mormon and established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In June 1829, Smith was baptized in New York, he was one of the Eight Witnesses who swore to the reality of a set of golden plates inscribed with the Book of Mormon. He said he saw the angel Moroni; when the Church of Christ was organized on April 6, 1830, six men signed their names as charter members.
Smith served as presiding officer of a church branch in Colesville, New York and was one of the first Latter Day Saint missionaries in the surrounding area. As the church headquarters and membership moved west and his family relocated. In 1831, he established a home in Ohio. During his residence there, he served as foreman of the quarry providing stone for the Kirtland Temple. Between 1831 and 1833, he served proselyting missions to Ohio. In 1834, under the direction of Joseph Smith, he recruited members for a militia, Zion's Camp, traveled with the group to the aid of the Latter Day Saints in Missouri, he was appointed Second Counselor in the church's First Presidency in November 1837. In 1838 and 1839, Hyrum and three other church leaders shared a jail cell in Liberty, Missouri while awaiting trial. After relocating to Nauvoo, Smith became the church's Presiding Patriarch, a position first held by his father, Joseph Smith Sr, he replaced Oliver Cowdery as Assistant President of the Church. Although Hyrum Smith was never explicitly ordained to the priesthood office of apostle, "his appointment as assistant president may have included such authority".
When warned of possible danger, Joseph urged his family to flee to Cincinnati, Ohio. Smith refused and, in 1844, traveled with Joseph to Carthage, where both were charged with riot and treason. Joseph, John Taylor and Willard Richards were held awaiting trial in a jail in Carthage. On June 27, 1844, the building was attacked by a mob of between two hundred men. While attempting to barricade the door to prevent the mob from entering, Smith was shot in the face on the left side of the nose. After staggering back, another ball fired through the window struck him in the back, passed through his body, struck his watch in his vest pocket; as Smith fell to the floor, he exclaimed, "I am a dead man,". Taylor was survived with the help of Richards. Joseph was hit by at least two shots, exclaimed "O Lord, My God," and fell through a second-story window to the ground where he was shot again; because of his position as Assistant President of the Church, it is that Smith would have succeeded Joseph and become the next president of the church had he outlived his brother.
Smith was a member of the Nauvoo City Council. At the time of his death, Smith was an independent candidate for the Illinois state legislature. On 2 November 1826, in New York, he married Jerusha Barden, they had six children together. Lovina Smith, who married Lorin Walker Mary Smith John Smith Hyrum Smith Jerusha Smith Sarah Smith, who married Charles Emerson GriffinOn 24 December 1837, in Kirtland, Ohio, he married Mary Fielding Smith, they had two children. Joseph F. Smith Martha Ann Smith In August 1843, he married two plural wives: Mercy Fielding Thompson, widow of Robert B. Thompson and sister to Hyrum's wife Mary. Smith's descendants have played significant roles in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joseph F. Smith, his son by Mary Fielding Smith, served as president of the LDS Church from 1901 to 1918, his grandson, Joseph Fielding Smith served as president of the church from 1970 to 1972. His eldest son, John Smith, served as the church's Presiding Patriarch from 1855 to 1911.
John Smith's descendants held this post from 1912 to 1932 and from 1942 to 1979, when the office was discontinued and the incumbent, Eldred G. Smith, was given the title patriarch emeritus. M. Russell Ballard, the current Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church, is a direct descendant of Smith. In 1918, Smith's descendants erected a monument to him in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Latter Day Saint martyrs Allen, James B.. The Story of the Latter-day Saints. Deseret Book Company. ISBN 0-87747-594-6. Ludlow, Daniel H. Editor.. Church History, Selections from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Deseret Book Company. ISBN 0-87579-924-8. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list O'Driscoll, Jeffrey S.. Hyrum
John Smith (uncle of Joseph Smith)
John Smith, known as Uncle John, was an early leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Smith was the younger brother of Joseph Smith Sr. uncle of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, father of George A. Smith, grandfather of John Henry Smith, great-grandfather of George Albert Smith, he served as a member of the first presiding high council in Kirtland, Ohio, an assistant counselor in the First Presidency under Joseph Smith, as Presiding Patriarch under Brigham Young. He was succeeded as Presiding Patriarch by his great nephew, named John Smith. Smith served as president of the stake in Iowa during the Nauvoo period, he was the first president of the Salt Lake Stake, the first stake in Utah Territory, as such was the leader of the Latter-day Saints in Utah in the winter of 1847–48. Smith fathered four children. Smith was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery. Jeremy C. Schwendiman. Uncle of the Prophet - The Life and Achievements of John Smith. Jeremy C. Schwendiman. ISBN 978-1890718473
Emma Hale Smith Bidamon was the first wife of Joseph Smith and a leader in the early days of the Latter Day Saint movement, both during Joseph's lifetime and afterward as a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In 1842, when the Ladies' Relief Society of Nauvoo was formed as a women's service organization, she was elected by its members as the organization's first president. Emma Hale was born in Harmony Township, Susquehanna County, the seventh child of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis Hale. Emma first met her future husband, Joseph Smith, in 1825. Smith lived near Palmyra, New York, but boarded with the Hales in Harmony while he was employed in a company of men hired to unearth a "Dream Mine". Although the company was unsuccessful in finding the suspected mine and Emma met secretly at a friend's house. Both Isaac and Elizabeth Hale refused to allow the marriage because they disapproved of Joseph's work for God. On January 17, 1827, Smith and Emma eloped across the state line to South Bainbridge, New York, where they were married the following day.
The couple moved to the home of Smith's parents near Palmyra. On September 22, 1827, Joseph and Emma took a horse and carriage belonging to Joseph Knight, Sr. and went to a hill, now known as Hill Cumorah, where Joseph said he received a set of golden plates. Hiding the plates in his coat, he descended down the hill after many hours, instead of taking them home, Joseph hid the plates. Shortly after the couple rode away from the hiding place, a small mob came over and searched the wagon for the golden plates; this was considered one of the miracles. The announcement of Joseph having the plates created a great deal of excitement in the area. In December 1827, the couple decided to move to Harmony, where they reconciled—to some extent—with Emma's parents; the Hales helped Joseph obtain a house and a small farm. Once they settled in, Joseph began work with Emma acting as a scribe, she became a physical witness of the plates, reporting that she felt them through a cloth, traced the pages through the cloth with her fingers, heard the metallic sound they made as she moved them, felt their weight.
She wrote in an interview with her son, Joseph Smith III: "In writing for your father I wrote day after day sitting at the table close by him, he sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the stone in it, dictating hour after hour with nothing between us." In Harmony on June 15, 1828, Emma gave birth to her first child—a son named Alvin—who lived only a few hours. In May 1829, Emma and Joseph went to live with David Whitmer in Fayette, New York. While travelling there, they saw an elderly man walking alongside the road. After offering him a ride, the man declined, saying that he was headed to Cumorah, disappeared suddenly. Joseph identified the man as the angel Moroni. In Fayette, Joseph finished work on the Book of Mormon, published in March 1830. On April 6, 1830, Joseph and five other men established the Church of Christ. Emma was baptized by Oliver Cowdery on June 28, 1830, in Colesville, New York, where an early branch of the church was established. During the next weeks, Joseph was arrested and exonerated in South Bainbridge for "glass looking" based on the state's vagrancy law.
Shortly thereafter, Joseph reported a revelation which instructed her to "murmur not" but comforted her with the assurance, "thy sins are forgiven thee, thou art an elect lady, whom I have called." The revelation goes on to state that Emma would "be ordained under hand to expound scriptures, to exhort the church" and further authorizes Emma to "make a selection of sacred Hymns" for the church. Joseph and Emma returned to Harmony for a time, but relations with Emma's parents broke down, the couple went back to staying in the homes of members of the growing church, they lived first with the Whitmers in Fayette with Newel K. Whitney and his family in Kirtland and into a cabin on a farm owned by Isaac Morley, it was here on April 30, 1831, that Emma gave premature birth to twins and Louisa. That same day, Julia Clapp Murdock died giving birth to twins and Julia; when the twins were nine days old, their father, gave the infants to the Smiths to raise as their own. On September 2, 1831, the Smiths moved into John Johnson's home in Ohio.
The infant Joseph died of exposure or pneumonia in late March 1832, after a door was left open during a mob attack on Smith. On November 6, 1832, Emma gave birth to Joseph Smith III in the upper room of Whitney's store in Kirtland. Young Joseph was the first of her natural children to live to adulthood. A second son, Frederick Granger Williams Smith, followed on June 29, 1836. While in Kirtland, Emma's feelings about temperance and the use of tobacco influenced her husband's decision to pray about dietary questions; these prayers resulted in the "Word of Wisdom". In Kirtland, Emma's first selection of hymns was published as a hymnal for the church's use, it was in Kirtland that the collapse of Joseph's banking venture, the Kirtland Safety Society, led to serious problems for the church and the family. On January 12, 1838, he was forced to leave the face charges of fraud and illegal banking. Emma and her family followed and made a new home on the frontier in the Latter Day Saint settlement of Far West, where Emma gave birth on June 2, 1838, to Alexander Hale Smith.
Events of the 1838 Mormon War soon escalated, resulting in Joseph's surre
Joseph Smith Sr.
Joseph Smith Sr. was the father of Joseph Smith Jr. the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. Joseph Sr. was one of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, which Mormons believe was translated by Smith Jr. from golden plates. In 1833, Smith Sr. was named the first patriarch of the Church of Christ. Joseph Sr. was a member of the First Presidency of the church and a Freemason in Ontario Lodge No. 23 of Canandaigua, New York. Smith was born on July 1771, in Topsfield, Massachusetts, to Asael Smith and Mary Duty, he married Lucy Mack in Tunbridge, Vermont, on January 26, 1796, had 11 children with her. Smith tried his hands at several professions, including farmer and shop-keeper, none of which proved successful, he moved his family to Palmyra, New York, in 1816 and began to make payments on a farm located on the edge of neighboring Manchester Township. He was raised to the degree of Master Mason on May 7, 1818, in Ontario Lodge No. 23 of Canandaigua, New York. In the Palmyra–Manchester area and his sons were involved in a number of treasure digging excavations in the 1820s.
Work on a frame house at the farm was halted by the unexpected death of Smith's eldest son, Alvin, in 1823. Smith subsequently failed to make payments on the farm. Lemuel Durfee purchased it as a favor to the family and allowed the Smiths to continue there as renters through 1830. Though a spiritual man, Smith showed little interest in organized religion and was content to allow his wife control over the religious upbringing of their children; this indifference bothered Lucy much. After much prayer, she said she had received a divine witness that her husband would some day accept "the pure and undefiled Gospel of the Son of God."Smith professed that he had visionary dreams with symbolic content related to his ambivalence about religious faith and sometimes presaging events to come. These dreams continued after the family's move to Palmyra. In the late 1820s, Smith's son, Joseph Jr. began to tell the family about golden plates, which he said contained a record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas.
In September 1827, Joseph Jr. said. In the following years, Joseph Jr. said he translated the plates into English through the use of the Urim and Thummim, a sacred device given to him by the angel Moroni. When the work was near completion, at the end of June 1829, Joseph Sr. and seven other men signed a joint statement, testifying that they had both lifted the plates and seen the engravings on the plates. Known as the "Testimony of the Eight Witnesses", this statement was published with the first edition of the Book of Mormon and has been a part of nearly all subsequent editions. Smith was baptised when the Church of Christ was formally organized on April 6, 1830; when Joseph Jr. saw Joseph Sr. come up out of the water, he is reported to have cried, "Oh! My God I have lived to see my own father baptized into the true church of Jesus Christ!" In January 1831, Smith and his family moved to the church's new headquarters in Ohio. He was ordained to be the church's first Presiding Patriarch on December 18, 1833.
In reference to his father's role as patriarch of the church, Joseph Jr. likened his father to Adam, the first biblical patriarch: "So shall it be with my father. As part of his new role, Smith administered patriarchal blessings. On September 3, 1837, Smith was made an Assistant Counselor to his son in the First Presidency of the church. Smith moved with his family to Far West, Missouri, in 1838 and from there to the church's new headquarters at Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1839. Old age and illnesses had taken their toll and by the end of summer 1840, Smith realized he was dying, he called his family around him to administer patriarchal blessings. He blessed his wife: "Mother, do you not know that you are the mother of as great a family as lived upon the earth.... They are raised up to do the Lord's work", he blessed and ordained his eldest surviving son, Hyrum to succeed to the office of Presiding Patriarch by right of lineage. Smith died in Nauvoo on September 14, 1840. Bates, Irene M.. Lost Legacy: The Mormon Office of Presiding Patriarch.
Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-07115-7. OCLC 53077386. Bushman, Richard Lyman. Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. New York: Vintage Books. P. 110. ISBN 978-1-4000-7753-3. Skinner, Earnest M.. Joseph Smith, Sr, First Patriarch of the LDS Church. Mesa, Arizona: Palmyra Publishing Company. ASIN B000M7VGQ8 Smith, Lucy Mack. Anderson, Lavina Fielding, ed. Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir. Signature Books. ISBN 1-56085-137-6. Archived from the original on 2006-10-21. Biography of Joseph Smith Sr; the Joseph Smith Papers Joseph Smith, Sr. Grandpa Bill's General Authority Pages Joseph Smith Sr, The Joseph Smith Sr. & Lucy Mack Foundation Scot and Maurine Proctor. "Joseph Smith Sr.'s Remarkable Vision of the Tree of Life". Meridian Magazine. Archived from the original on September 7, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-01
Katharine Smith Salisbury
Katharine Smith Salisbury was a sister to Joseph Smith and an early convert in the Latter Day Saint movement. Katharine Smith was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire, as the seventh surviving child of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. In her life, she recollected that when her brother Joseph brought the golden plates to the family home in Manchester, New York in September 1827, he "entered the house running", with the plates "clasped to his side with his left hand and arm, … his right hand … badly bruised from knocking down at least three men who had leaped at him from behind bushes or fences as he ran." Several times she was permitted to lift the plates, which were always covered with a cloth when she did so. She provided a detailed recollection of the visits of the Angel Moroni to her brother. Katharine attended the first meetings of the Church of Christ in 1830, was baptized as a member in June 1830 by David Whitmer. In 1831, she moved with the Smith family to Kirtland, Ohio, to join the main gathering of Latter Day Saints.
On June 8, 1831, she married Wilkins Jenkins Salisbury, in Kirtland. He was one of the first seventies of the church, but he was excommunicated by the Kirtland high council in 1836 for "talebearing and drinking strong liquor"; the Salisburys settled in Chardon and followed the Latter Day Saint movements to Missouri and Illinois. In Illinois, they settled in Plymouth, forty miles from church headquarters in Nauvoo. After Katharine's brothers Joseph and Hyrum were killed, the Salisburys moved to Nauvoo to be with the other members of the Smith family. Like the other members of the Smith family, they did not endorse the leadership of Brigham Young and refused to follow him to the Salt Lake Valley; the Salisburys settled in Fountain Green, where Katharine would live for the rest of her life. In 1853, Wilkins Jenkins Salisbury died of typhoid fever. On May 3, 1857, she married Joseph Younger, they had no children together. After the divorce, Katharine retained the surname Salisbury for the rest of her life.
In 1873, based on her 1830 baptism, Salisbury was received as a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headed by her nephew Joseph Smith III. She was an active member for the remainder of her life traveling to RLDS Church conferences in Lamoni and Independence, Missouri. RLDS Church leaders invited her to sit on the platform at church meetings because she was regarded as a living link to the early days of the church. Salisbury was the longest-lived sibling of Joseph Smith, she died in Illinois. As of 2005, she had 92 known descendants. Katharine Smith Salisbury at Find a Grave Younger, Katharine Smith, Joseph Smith Papers
George A. Smith
George Albert Smith was an early leader in the Latter Day Saint movement. He served in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and as a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Smith was a prominent leader in the settlement of many communities in southern Utah, played a role in the chain of events preceding the Mountain Meadows Massacre on September 11, 1857; the city of St. George, may have been named after him. George A. Smith was born in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York, the son of John Smith and Clarissa Lyman, was brought up in the Congregational Church, his first cousin was Joseph Smith, Jr. the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormon Church. In September 1832, at the age of 15, George A. Smith, was baptized into the new church, eight months after his parents had been baptized; the following year, John Smith and his family moved to Kirtland, the church's new headquarters. There George met his cousin, for the first time.
In 1838, he moved with a large body of church members to the state of Missouri. In the spring of 1834, the 16-year-old Smith accompanied a group of Latter Day Saints on a 2000-mile march to Missouri and back to Ohio; this trip, known as Zion's Camp, was intended to bring aid to suffering members of the church in Missouri. Smith served as a missionary to the eastern United States and preaching during the summers of 1835, 1836, 1837, while attending school each winter. Smith was ordained a seventy in the priesthood on March 1835, by Joseph Smith. On April 26, 1839, at the age of 21, George A. Smith was ordained an apostle and became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Future church president Wilford Woodruff was ordained an apostle on the same day; the two men replaced former apostles Thomas B. Marsh, who had left the church, Orson Hyde, disfellowshipped and removed from his position. After Joseph Smith's death and the assumption of church leadership by Brigham Young, George A. Smith traveled to the Salt Lake Valley as a Mormon pioneer with the first company of settlers in 1847.
In the winter of 1850, Smith led a company of 118 volunteers and about 30 families to establish a colony near the Little Salt Lake in Iron County. They arrived at Center Creek, 265 miles from Salt Lake City, on January 13, 1851. Under direction from the General Assembly of the State of Deseret, the group organized the political entity of Iron County and elected Smith as chief justice. During the winter of 1850–51, the settlers constructed a fort enclosing homes, a meeting house, a school, a watch tower, they named their community Parowan. Smith taught school during the first winter, served as a member of Utah's territorial legislature. In 1868, Smith was called to replace Heber C. Kimball as First Counselor in the First Presidency to church president Young. Smith served in this position until his death in 1875. Smith's first wife, Bathsheba W. Smith, served as general president of the church's Relief Society from 1901 to 1910. A son, John Henry Smith served as an apostle and member of the First Presidency.
George A. Smith's grandson and namesake, George Albert Smith became an apostle and was the church's eighth president. Smith was the eighth official Church Historian and General Church Recorder of the LDS Church between April 1854 and 1871. In 1873 he was appointed and sustained as Trustee-in-Trust for the church, which office he held until his death. During the hurried series of actions Young and LDS Church leaders initiated on learning of the imminent arrival of U. S. troops into Utah Territory in 1857-8, Smith left Salt Lake City to visit southern Utah communities. Scholars have asserted that Smith's tour and personal actions contributed to the fear and tension in these communities, influenced the decision to attack and destroy the Baker–Fancher emigrant train near Mountain Meadows, Utah. Leaving on August 3, 1857, Smith arrived at Parowan, Utah on August 8, 1857, on August 15, he set off on a tour of the local military district manned by the Utah militia known as the Nauvoo Legion, led by stake president-Colonel W. H. Dame.
Although Smith's rank in the Legion was a private, one Parowan resident understood that part of the purpose of his trip was to represent the church leadership and to organize the regiment, inspect the troops, provide instructions. During the tour, Smith gave military speeches and counseled Mormons that they should prepare to "touch fire to their homes, hide themselves in the mountains, to defend their country to the last extremity." Smith instructed church members to stockpile grain, not to sell it to emigrants or use it for animal feed. In addition to Parowan, Smith's tour included visits to Santa Clara; the group stopped at Mountain Meadows to eat dinner on August 20 with a group of resident missionaries. Smith addressed a group of Indians in Santa Clara, counseling them that "the Americans" were approaching with a large army, were a threat to the Indians as well as the Mormons. Riding in a wagon afterwards, John D. Lee said he warned Smith that the Indians would attack emigrant trains, that Mormons were anxious to avenge the blood of the prophets, according to Lee, Smith seemed pleased, said "he had had a long talk with Major Haight on the same subject."Isaac C.
Haight, Cedar City stake president, second in military command under Dame, met with Smith again on August 21. Haight told Smith he had heard reports that 600 troops were approaching Cedar City from the East, that if the rumors were true, Haight would have to act without waiting for instructions from Salt Lake City. Smith agreed, and
Alvin Smith (brother of Joseph Smith)
Alvin Smith was the eldest brother of Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. Alvin took a leading role in helping the Smith family work toward paying their debts and building their home, his death at age 25 resulted in his younger brother Joseph taking more of a leading role in family affairs. A vision claimed by Joseph Smith is said to have included Alvin's presence and played a significant role in the establishment of the Mormon doctrines of redemption of those who die without a knowledge of the gospel and baptism of the dead. Alvin Smith was born in the first surviving child of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith. During his youth, Smith worked as a carpenter’s helper to assist the Smith family in saving up sufficient funds to make a down payment on a farm in Manchester Township, south of Palmyra, New York. Smith assisted his father in clearing timber, planting wheat and tapping maple trees for the purpose of making maple sugar. A neighbor, Orlando Saunders, stated that the members of the Smith family “have all worked for me many a day.
Young Joe has worked for me, he was a good worker. In the early 1820s, Smith was involved with his father and brothers in a number of treasure digging excavations in the Palmyra–Manchester area. In 1823, Smith took the lead in building the family's new home and worked to get the family out of debt. On November 19, 1823, at age 25, Smith died of mercury poisoning from calomel, administered to cure a case of “bilious colic.” Smith believed in his brother Joseph's testament that Joseph was to recover an ancient record from a nearby hill. His death occurred two months after Joseph’s first visit to the hill from which he was said to have recovered the golden plates that would be claimed as the source for the Book of Mormon. According to a history written by his mother, Lucy Mack Smith, as Smith lay dying he called each member of his family to his bedside to give them counsel. To his brother Hyrum, Smith said, "I have done all. I want you to go on and finish the house." He urged his brother Joseph to fulfill all of the requirements to obtain the record.
Smith's death had a significant effect on the family, resulting in Joseph taking more of a leadership role. Alvin's funeral was held at the Presbyterian church. According to an 1893 account by his brother William, "Rev. Stockton had preached my brother's funeral sermon and intimated strongly that he had gone to hell, for Alvin was not a church member". William cites this as a reason. Smith figured prominently in the establishment of the Mormon doctrine of the redemption of the dead and the establishment of the practice of baptism for the dead. On January 21, 1836, after the completion of the Kirtland Temple, Joseph Smith claimed to have had a vision of the celestial kingdom. Smith stated that he saw his brother Alvin in this vision, was surprised at his presence since he had died before the establishment of the church and its associated doctrines. Joseph Smith stated that he received a revelation concerning the salvation of those who die without hearing the gospel and their ability to receive the same opportunities as those who had the opportunity to hear it on earth.
Biographer Fawn M. Brodie wrote that the Smith family "heard a rumor that Alvin's body had been exhumed and dissected. Fearing it to be true, the elder Smith uncovered the grave on September 25, 1824 and inspected the corpse." Following the exhumation, Joseph Smith Sr. printed the following in the local newspaper on September 29, 1824: TO THE PUBLIC: Whereas reports have been industriously put in circulation that my son Alvin had been removed from the place of his interment and dissected. This method is taken for the purpose of satisfying the minds of those who may have heard the report, of informing those who have put it in circulation, that it is earnestly requested they would desist therefrom. Historian D. Michael Quinn, in his book Early Mormonism and the Magical World View, suggests that the newspaper notice published by Smith Sr. is evidence that the "guardian," "spirit" or "angel" commanded Joseph to bring a piece of Alvin's body to the hiding place of the golden plates as a requirement for seeing them.
Quinn argues that when Smith did not do this, he was unable to see the plates for a second time and had to wait another year. Additionally, Quinn suggests that this information was obscured in official church history because it implies Smith's participation in necromancy; the requirement to bring a portion of Alvin's body to view the plates originated with the forged salamander letter, believed to be authentic at the time that Quinn wrote Early Mormonism and the Magical World View. According to Historian Richard Lyman Bushman "Stories circulated of a requirement to bring Alvin to the hill to get the plates; the story of the exhumation of Smith's remains gained new life with the "discovery" of Mark Hofmann's forged salamander letter. Hofmann admitted that he used Joseph Smith Sr.'s letter and the affidavit of Willard Chase, to create the implication that Joseph needed to take part of Alvin's body to the hill Cumorah. Chase states in his affidavit that the angel told Smith to bring his brother Alvin with him to obtain the plates.
By the time of the second visit t