Sunday, May 10, 2015

Remembering the Mother of the Restoration on Mother's Day

Emma Hale Smith Bidamon, 1804–1879

Community of Christ is sometimes called “Emma’s Church.” After the failures of competing Latter Day Saint sects in the decade and a half following the martyrdom of Joseph Smith Jr., members scattered throughout the North American Midwest looked to Emma’s sons to provide leadership for a new organization of the church. 

Emma was among the earliest supporters of Joseph Smith Jr. Her father provided the young couple with a farm and home of their own, where Joseph began the work of bringing for the Book of Mormon. Emma acted as one of the first scribes of the work. She became the first and only woman to whom a section the Doctrine and Covenants is addressed (Community of Christ D&C 24). The revelation dictated in 1830 names Emma an “Elect Lady” and calls her to be ordained “to expound Scriptures, and to exhort the church” as well as to select hymns for a hymnal. Ultimately, Emma produced four hymnals, two for the early church and two for the Reorganized Church. 

Emma was an ardent opponent of polygamy and other secret practices within the church. Her influence over her sons and her philosophy of promoting peace with their neighbors in Nauvoo significantly influenced the culture of Community of Christ.

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