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The story of a Joseph Smith descendant

I am writing to tell you what it has been like to be raised a descendant of Joseph Smith Jr. and Emma Hale Smith.

We were not allowed to talk to Mormons (or anyone) about our lineage. We were raised to believe that Mormons would either try to kill us or recruit us (and as children, we didn't know which would be worse). We were encouraged to run from anyone with a Book of Mormon. We were sent to Baptist and Methodist churches and told to stay away from any other religion.

We were taught that the "Mormons in Utah" wanted to kill our great-great grandfather (though I didn't know it then, I now think they were speaking of Joseph Jr. and Emma's son, Alexander) and we were in danger around "them" (the "Utah Mormons").

The ironic part is that when my mother became very ill (when I was about 10 years old) it was a Mormon family (LDS) that took care of my two sisters, my brother and me for weeks. When we were welcomed in the LDS Church, we were surprised (and relieved).

Still, we were not encouraged to speak of, or even really learn about, our lineage.

Read the rest of this story at deseretnews.com
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