”Lucy Mack Smith (July 8, 1775 – May 14, 1856) was the mother of Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. She is most noted for writing a memoir: Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations. She was an important leader of the movement during the life of Joseph … It was Lucy who took the initiative in trying to involve her family in seeking the ”true church.” In light of Joseph Sr.’s indifference, she sought consolation in earnest prayer that the gospel would be brought to her husband and was reassured by a dream that her husband would be given ”the pure and undefiled Gospel of the Son of God” (56). About this time Joseph Sr. began having visionary dreams with highly symbolic content, obviously related to his ambivalence about religious faith and sometimes presaging events to come. These dreams continued after the family’s move to Palmyra, New York, until he had had seven in all; Lucy remembers five well enough to quote in detail. Lucy’s efforts to find the true religion did not slacken in Palmyra. She went from sect to sect; and sometime after 1824, she and three of her children, Hyrum, Samuel, and Sophronia, joined Western Presbyterian Church, the only church with a meetinghouse in Palmyra. Although Lucy longed for her family to be united in their religious faith, she could not persuade her husband to join them. Thus, when young Joseph had his vision, followed by the coming forth of the Book of Mormon attended by other heavenly messengers, it was the means of making Lucy’s dream of a family united in religious harmony come true.”
Den första biografin över Joseph Smith jr skrevs av hans mamma Lucy Mack Smith efter hans och hans bror Hyrums död i juni 1844. Hon var en mycket viktig person i återupprättelsen av kyrkan, för utan henne så hade vi inte haft all denna fakta om henne och hennes familj. Så vi har mycket att tacka Lucy för när det gäller all information. Hon var förmodligen mycket medveten om den viktiga roll som hon hade.
”Although the full title of the 1853 publication of Lucy Mack Smith’s story is Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations, there were three previous titles. As noted by Jan Shipps, the copyright description of Lucy’s book reads, in part, “The History of Lucy Smith, wife of Joseph Smith, the first Patriarch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who was the father of Joseph Smith, Prophet, Seer and Revelator; containing an account of the many persecutions, trials and afflictions which I and my family have endured in bringing forth the Book of Mormon and establishing the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints . . .” (Mormonism, 104). The 1845 fair copy made by Howard and Martha Jane Coray is titled “History of Lucy Smith, Mother of the Prophet,” while “History of Mother Smith, by Herself,” also graced a secondary title page for the 1853 edition. Revised editions of the book in 1901-03 by the Improvement Era and many editions by Preston Nibley, beginning in 1945, however, were published under the title History of the Prophet Joseph Smith. These title changes signal that the book’s worth to the institutional church is primarily as a record of Joseph Smith, not as a record of Lucy, even though reading the book itself shows that Lucy’s book is certainly her story. It illuminates her own background, her preparation for the part she [p.3]played in the restoration, and the kind of woman she was, as she recounts the activities of her family during the early days of the church.”
Det som är intressant är att läsa och förstå vad de olika redaktörerna gjorde med hennes information. De redigerade hårt och ändrade ganska så rejält i texten. Själv så reagerar jag ganska så kraftigt på vad redaktörerna höll på med. Kvinnan i mig undrar om det var vanligt på den tiden att göra så, eller om det berodde på att hon var en kvinna. Men tur är väl ändå att man kan se ändringarna! Utan denna information så hade vi vetat mindre, men i och med dessa ändringar så vet vi faktiskt väldigt mycket mer än bara det som Lucy skrev. Vi kan få en glimt in i redaktörernas värld, för det var de som bestämde vad som skulle gå i tryck.
“Am I indeed the mother of a prophet of the God of Heaven?” Lucy Mack Smith asks readers in the rough draft of her memoir. She answers in the affirmative. Yet her question conveys an intimacy that is absent from the polished, final version of her book. Dictated to a scribe, her spontaneity creates an ambiance that allows readers to picture her sitting in her rocking chair in Nauvoo, Illinois, reminiscing with a friend. This sense is heightened by her scribe’s phonetic rendering of frontier slang. For instance, Lucy worries about “the measels and other ketchin diseases,” rendered as “contagious disease” in the final version. She describes her son coming “upon a green sward under an apple tree,” saying that, “Here he lay down”—flattened in the printed version, eliminating the word “sward.” Where Joseph’s brother says, “We must keep to work,” this becomes in the published edition, “We must not slacken our hands.”