Below are five brief accounts from eyewitnesses, including young children, who met or associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith during his lifetime. Each recollection describes an element of Joseph Smith’s character or personality, and each attests to the goodness of the man Mormons revere as a divinely called prophet through whom God restored the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ in modern times.
"In a social gathering of the Saints at the Bowery near the site of the temple, I saw him rejoicing with the people, perfectly sociable and without reserve, occasionally uttering jokes for their amusement, and moving upon the same plane with the humblest and poorest of his friends; to him there were no strangers and by all he was known as the Prophet and a friend of humanity…I saw him by the bedside of Emma, his wife, in sickness, exhibiting all the solicitude and sympathy possible for the tenderest of hearts and the most affectionate of natures to feel. And by the deathbed of my beloved companion, I saw him stand in sorrow, reluctantly submitting to the decree of Providence, while the tears of love and sympathy freely flowed."
Mercy Rachel Thompson, "Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith," Juvenile Instructor 27, no. 13 (1 July 1892): 398-99.