10 Rare Facts About the Prophet Joseph Smith

In a vision from the angel Moroni, Joseph Smith was told “that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.”

We see this in our day; people all around the world have come to know Brother Joseph again. However, with all we know, there are still some interesting facts from Joseph Smith’s life that don’t often get talked about. Here are ten rare facts about the Prophet Joseph you may not have heard of before.

Debate Club

According to O. Turner, a young Joseph Smith belonged to the local debate club in Palmyra.

Joseph’s Modern Relatives

Through his mother’s line, Joseph is related to George W. Bush, Winston Churchill, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John P. Morgan, Mitt Romney, Richard Nixon, and David Marriott.

Emma’s Garden

Emma refused to let Joseph in her garden because dozens of people would gather around to be near him and they would trample all of the plants.

Chipped Tooth

While being tarred and feathered in Hiram, Ohio, Joseph Smith chipped a tooth. It caused him to speak with a slight whistle for the rest of his life.

Beloved Pets

Joseph owned two dogs. His favorite dog was named Major, and Sylvester Smith threatened to kill it while on Zion’s Camp march. He also had a bulldog named Baker.

Stage Fright

Heber C. Kimball often heard Joseph Smith say that his legs often “trembled like Belshazzar’s when he got up to speak before the world, and before the Saints.”

Unknown Cousins

Parley Pratt, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, and Harold B. Lee were all cousins of Joseph Smith. Brigham Young was his fifth cousin. None of this was known during Joseph’s life.

Six Arrests in One Day

On June 28, 1830, while traveling to New York, Joseph was arrested by people pretending he owed them money. He was brought before a hearing, found innocent, and released. This repeated six times throughout the day. Each time the charges were dropped. After the last, Joseph turned and returned to Kirtland.

Careful Burial

Decoy caskets were used at Joseph and Hyrum’s funeral after the martyrdom. They were filled with sandbags. There was a $1,000 reward for the head of Joseph Smith. The decoys were to try and prevent the bodies from being desecrated. The real bodies were buried in secret.

Favorite Encouragement

Heber C. Kimball said Joseph would encourage people to get something done by saying, ‘Yankee doodle do it.’

Learn more inspiring and enriching facts about Joseph Smith’s life in 500 Little-Known Facts about Joseph Smith.

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