Lucy Mack Smith and The Daunting 1000 Mile Journey

One of the most powerful, insightful stories of Lucy Mack Smith concerns the family’s sad journey from Kirtland to Missouri, which was a daunting distance of close to one thousand miles.


They left with two of their sons in May of 1838, driving through rain and storm, one night lying all night in the rain, another seeking shelter in a wretched little hut. Lucy became very ill—the quilted skirt which she wore for three days wringing wet. Soon after crossing the Mississippi River her daughter, Catherine, gave birth to a son.


Leaving mother, baby, and husband with daughter Sophronia for help, the rest traveled on. Lucy, coughing continually, was no longer able to ride in a sitting position, nor travel more than four miles a day.


A firm impression came to her that if she could find a secluded place where she might call upon the Lord, she would be healed. She urged her husband to press on for Huntsville and, when they stopped here, Lucy tells us in her own words:


By the aid of staffs I reached a fence, and then followed the fence some distance till I came to a dense hazel thicket. Here I threw myself on the ground and thought it was no matter how far I was from the house, for if the Lord would not hear me and I must die, I might as well die here as anywhere.

When I was a little rested, I commenced calling upon the Lord to beseech his mercy, praying for my health and the life of my daughter, Catherine. I urged every claim which the scriptures give us, and was as humble as I knew how to be, and I continued praying near three hours.

At last I was entirely relieved from pain, my cough left me, and I was well. Moreover, I received an assurance that I should hear from my daughter about the middle of the same day. I arose and went to the house in as good health as I ever enjoyed.

The day after (Catherine) came, I washed a very large quality of clothes with as much ease as though I had not been out of health at all.


The power was within Lucy herself; the power, of faith, testimony, and prayer. The Lord, as she felt and knew, had bestowed it upon her.


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The following was taken from the book, The Women of the Restoration currently on sale at