Mary Fielding Smith

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Mary Fielding Smith
Full body Painting of Mary Fielding Smith facing right
Painting of Mary Fielding Smith by Sutcliffe Maudsley
Personal details
Born Mary Fielding Smith
(1801-07-21)July 21, 1801
Bedfordshire, England
Died September 21, 1852(1852-09-21) (aged 51)
Salt Lake City, Utah Territory
Cause of death Pneumonia
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′38″N 111°51′29″W / 40.7772°N 111.858°W / 40.7772; -111.858 (Salt Lake City Cemetery)
Spouse Hyrum Smith (1837-1844)
Heber C. Kimball (1844-1852)
Parents John Fielding
Rachel Ibbotson

Mary Fielding Smith Kimball (July 21, 1801 – September 21, 1852) was an early member of the Latter Day Saint movement, the second wife of LDS Church leader Hyrum Smith and the mother of Joseph F. Smith.

Early life[edit]

Mary Fielding was born in Bedfordshire, England on July 21, 1801. She was the sixth child of John Fielding and Rachel Ibbotson, who were active in the growing Methodist movement in the area. In 1834, Mary emigrated to join her brother Joseph and her sister Mercy in Toronto, Canada.

Joining the Latter Day Saints church[edit]

The three Fielding siblings were introduced to the newly formed LDS religion in 1836, and were promptly baptized. Mary moved to Kirtland, Ohio the following year to join the larger body of the church. Well educated, Mary earned a living through teaching school, tutoring private pupils and acting as a governess. At the suggestion of the LDS prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr., the recently widowed Hyrum Smith courted Mary Fielding and the couple married on December 24, 1837. Mary accepted the responsibility of caring for and raising Hyrum's children from his first marriage, including the future church patriarch John Smith.

In late 1838 Hyrum was among the church leaders taken off to prison by the Missouri militia. At this time Smith was pregnant with her first child, Joseph Fielding Smith. Mary Smith went to Quincy, Illinois with the remaining Mormons and, after Hyrum escaped from jail, they moved to Nauvoo. Their second child, Martha, was born in Illinois.

After Hyrum was murdered in 1844, Mary Smith chose to follow the direction of Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. She and her family were among the poorer Mormons driven out of Nauvoo in the fall of 1846, who experienced the incident later known as the "miracle of the quails". She went to Winter Quarters and then on to Salt Lake City.

One story recounts Smith's trip across the plains with Heber C. Kimball's company. One of the captains, Cornelius P. Lott, questioned her preparation and suggested she stay behind and wait for others to help her. He called her a burden to the whole company. In response, Mary "prophesied" that she would not only stay but would beat Lott to the Salt Lake Valley without any of his help. She reportedly arrived in the Valley one day before Lott.[1]

Death[edit]

Mary Fielding Smith and Mercy Fielding Thompson's grave markers

Mary Fielding Smith died in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory at the home of her second husband Heber C. Kimball, apparently of pneumonia. She was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery. Although she was widely known and respected during her lifetime, her son, LDS Church President Joseph F. Smith, further enhanced her reputation after her death as he presented her as a role model of courage and faithfulness in public addresses, sermons and articles.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cornelius P. Lott". www.saintswithouthalos.com. http://www.saintswithouthalos.com/b/lott_cp.phtml. Accessed 9 May 2007.
  • Corbett, Don C. "Mary Fielding Smith: Daughter of Britain." Salt Lake City, Utah 1966.

External links[edit]