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The Joseph Smith Sr. Family Room Open House at Special Collections

This Thursday, October 25th, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm Special Collections will be holding an Open House in honor of their newly designed donor room, the Joseph Smith Sr. Family Room.

The Smith Family donor room is located in room 1141 on the first floor of the Harold B. Lee Library inside Special Collections.  During the open house, visitors are welcome to drop by and browse the new displays of family artifacts which enhance the ambience of this donor room named in honor of the family of Joseph Smith Sr.

Among the artifacts on display visitors will find the original painting of Lucy Mack Smith familiar to many church members.  Lucy was the mother of Joseph Smith Jr. and Hyrum Smith.  She was also Joseph Smith Jr.’s main biographer and a major figure in LDS history. 

One will also find the Smith Family Bible, which belonged to Hyrum Smith and which kept a record of the family genealogy.  Journal entries and missionary letters from Hyrum’s sons, John Smith and Joseph F. Smith, are also on display revealing the same struggles as modern missionaries involving the difficulty of learning a new language and waiting on letters from home.

There are also fun little facts hidden in the descriptions of the displays.  The walking stick which belonged to Hyrum Smith, and which John Smith inherited on his father’s death, is displayed.  The metal tip was shaved down to adjust for the difference in height between father and son.  Joseph Smith Jr.’s coin purse is also on display with a ticket to a theological lecture given by Brigham Young.

This opportunity to see so many rare items which tell the story of the Smith family is made possible by Eldred G. Smith, the great-great-great grandson of Joseph Smith Sr.  Elder Smith was ordained as the eighth Presiding Patriarch of the Church in 1947 and was given emeritus status in 1979.  At 105 he still serves as patriarch, making him the oldest living General Authority in the history of the church.  His generous donation of the material for this exhibit is a special honor and we invite everyone to share in our appreciation.

Come join us and see our local treasures.  Light refreshments will also be served.

Upper left image is a portrait of Lucy Mack Smith, artist unknown.  The original artwork is on display in the Joseph Smith Sr. Family Room Open House.

Lower left image is a picture of Joseph Smith’s coin purse displaying a ticket to a lecture by Brigham Young.

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