Mormon Literature Sampler:

To Emma Smith*

Joseph Smith

June 6th Greenville, Floyd County
[Indiana] 1832

Dear Wife:
I would inform you that Brother Martin has arrived here and brought the pleasing news that our families were well when he left them which greatly cheered our hearts and revived our spirits. We thank our Heavenly Father for his goodness unto us and all of you. Martin arrived on Saturday the same week he left Chagrin having a prosperous time. We are all in good health. Brother Whitney's leg is gaining and he thinks he shall be able to perform his journey so as to get home about the 20th.

My situation is a very unpleasant one although I will endeavor to be contented, the Lord assisting me. I have visited a grove which is just back of the town almost every day where I can be secluded from the eyes of any mortal and there give vent to all the feelings of my heart in meditation and prayer. I have called to mind all the past moments of my life and am left to mourn and shed tears of sorrow for my folly in suffering the adversary of my soul to have so much power over me as he has had in times past but God is merciful and has forgiven my sins and I rejoice that he sendeth forth the Comforter unto as many as believe and humbleth themselves before him.

I was grieved to hear that Hiram had lost his little child. I think we can in some degree sympathize with him but we all must be reconciled to our lots and say the will of the Lord be done.

Sister Whitney wrote a letter to her husband which was very cheering and being unwell at that time and filled with much anxiety it would have been very consoling to me to have received a few lines from you but as you did not take the trouble I will try to be contented with my lot knowing that God is my friend; in him I shall find comfort. I have given my life into his hands. I am prepared to go at his call. I desire to be with Christ. I count not my life dear to me only to do his will ....

I am happy to find that you are still in the faith of Christ and at Father Smiths. I hope you will comfort Father and Mother in their trials and Hiram and Jerusha and the rest of the family. Tell Sophronia I remember her and Kalvin in my prayers. My respects to the rest. I should like to see little Julia and once more take her on my knee and converse with you on all the subjects which concerns us, things I cannot is not prudent for me to write. I omit all the important things which could I see you I could make you acquainted with. Tell Brother Will that I and Brother Whitney will arrange the business of that farm when we come. Give my respects to all the Brethern, Br. Whitney family, tell them he is cheerful and patient and a true brother to me.

I subscribe myself your husband. The Lord bless you. Peace be with [you] so farewell until I return.

Joseph Smith Jr.

*This letter from Joseph to Emma was written from Greenville, Indiana, where Joseph was nursing Bishop Newel K. Whitney, who had been injured in a coach accident. While attending Whitney, Joseph was poisoned, vomiting so heavily as to dislocate his jaw. He was instantly healed by Bishop Whitney. The letter to Emma, written during the four weeks Bishop Whitney was bedfast, is a rich glimpse into the Prophet's constant struggle to remain worthy. See LaMar C. Berrett, "An Impressive Letter from the Pen of Joseph Smith," BYU Studies 11 (Summer 1971): 517-23. Unlike the other letters included here, this letter was written in Joseph's own hand.

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