Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Light from the Scriptures

Light from the Scriptures

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 03, 2013

From William A. Morton, From Plowboy to Prophet: Being a Short History of Joseph Smith, for Children. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1912.

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Light from the Scriptures

The Smith family was poor. Their farm was not a very good one, and the father and mother had to work hard for the support of themselves and their children.

As soon as the girls were able to help in the home, and the boys on the farm, they willingly did so.

In the picture you see the boy Joseph ploughing with a yoke of oxen. he had very little time for school, but in the evenings, when his work was done, he studied at home, and learned to read and write, and to work simple examples in arithmetic. I am sure he often felt sorry that he was not able to go to school as much as the other boys. But, then, he must have felt happy in the thought that he was helping to lighten the burdens of his parents.

When Joseph was ten years of age his father left his place in Sharon and moved the family to Palmyra, in the State of New York. Four years later they left Palmyra and went to live in the town of Manchester, in the same State.

At that time the people in that part of the country became very much excited over religious matters. Almost every evening meetings were held in the churches. Joseph’s mother and two of his brothers and a sister joined the Presbyterian Church. But Joseph did not unite himself with any church. I suppose you would like to know the reason why. Well, the reason was because they all taught different doctrines, and, he did not know which one taught the true Gospel, or which was the true Church.

I think I know, to a certain extent, how he felt. One day I went to a railway depot in England to take a train for London. There were six or seven trains standing on different tracks, all waiting the signal to start. I did not know which train to take, and for a little while I stood puzzled. Just then I caught sight of a sign-board, on which was printed in large letters,

“Train for London on track 7.”

Then I knew what to do. I boarded the train on the seventh track, and in due time arrived in London.

In the same way Joseph Smith was puzzled concerning the churches. How was he to know which of them was the right church? Well, the Lord had prepared means, just as the railway company in England had prepared signs to direct people to the trains they wished to take. The way in which Joseph found the truth is found in the next chapter.

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