When I was about 10-years-old I went with my Grandmother to the Church Office Building where she was working as a missionary. I waited in the lobby for her while she did some work and I picked up an old issue of the Ensign magazine. I flipped through it and landed on an article entitled "My Great-Great Grandmother , Emma Hale Smith" by Gracia N. Jones. I devoured the article and when my grandmother came to get me I asked her if she would make me a photocopy of it. I lied to her (sorry Grandma) and told her I was doing a project at school on Emma and that I needed it for that. Honestly, I was just fascinated by Emma and, even at that young age, I'd heard so many confusing things about her. I didn't want to loose track of this beautiful information and testimony of a woman I wanted to know more about.
Time went by and I eventually lost that photocopied article, in fact, I'd almost forgotten all about it until I was doing research for Emma's Birthday Celebration and I came across it again. Granted, the online version doesn't have the beautiful pictures like the original had, but reading it reminded me of how my 10-year-old self drank in those beautiful truths about Emma. It was even funny for me to realize that in my questions to Mark Staker from the Church History Library I'd said that, "I remember once reading a remark by someone who said that Emma Smith's picture didn't deserve to be hung up in the Relief Society room " and that where I'd read that (all those years ago) was in this article. So I guess my subconscious hadn't forgotten about it. One of the most beautiful parts of the article is hearing Emma's patriarchal blessing. It reveals so much about her and makes it absolutely clear, that no matter what others may write or say about her, the Lord has accepted her offering and her blessings are secure.
Emma's blessing was given to her by her father-in-law Joseph Smith, Sr. on December 9, 1834. It reads:
“Emma … thou art blessed of the Lord, for thy faithfulness and truth, thou shalt be blessed with thy husband, and rejoice in the glory which shall come upon him. Thy soul has been afflicted because of the wickedness of men in seeking the destruction of thy companion, and thy whole soul has been drawn out in prayer for his deliverance; rejoice, for the Lord thy God has heard thy supplication. Thou hast grieved for the hardness of the hearts of thy father’s house, and thou hast longed for their salvation. The Lord will have respect to thy cries, and by his judgments he will cause some of them to see their folly and repent of their sins; but it will be by affliction that they will be saved. Thou shalt see many days, yea, the Lord will spare thee till thou art satisfied, for thou shalt see thy Redeemer. Thy heart shall rejoice in the great work of the Lord, and no one shall take thy rejoicing from thee. Thou shalt ever remember the great condescension of thy God in permitting thee to accompany my son [Joseph] when the angel delivered the record of the Nephites to his care. … Thou shalt be blessed with understanding, and have power to instruct thy sex, teach thy family righteousness, and thy little ones the way of life, and the holy angels shall watch over thee and thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, even so, Amen.”The two parts of this blessing that really stand out to me are how much Emma missed and worried about her family. After leaving to go to Kirtland, Ohio Emma never saw her family again and they never accepted the gospel that she had given so much for. That sorrow must have weighted hard upon her heart and the Lord knew it. Yet He promises her, "Thy heart shall rejoice... and no one shall take thy rejoicing from thee." What a beautiful promise and from what I am coming to learn about Emma I can see that though she suffered much in her life she also chose to rejoice much. She had a firm understanding of what she was a part of and of the importance of the work Joseph was doing.
She truly was God's chosen and "elect lady".
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