- Born abt 1814
- Baptized as a young man
- Zion's Camp 1835
- Ordained Seventy and called to First Quorum of Seventy
- Mission to east 1835
- Died 1838
Most of what we know about Lyman Smith comes from
the writings of his more famous third cousin, George
Albert Smith with whom Lyman served as missionary companion.
Most of the remainder of our knowledge comes from the History of the
Church. For example, George Albert Smith tells us that Lyman was two
years older than himself. Since George was born in 1817, we calculate that
Lyman was born about 1815. A calculation with different figures gives us
1814 as his year of birth.
We learn both from the History of the Church and
from President Smith's journal that in 1834 Lyman participated in Zions
Camp, the expedition to provide relief to the saints in Missouri who were
suffering at the hands of the mobocrats. The History tells us: "June 22.--Brother
Lyman Smith received a wound from the accidental discharge of a horse-pistol,
from which he recovered in about three days." President Smith added details:
"Sunday, June 22. Brother Lyman Smith, who was a second cousin of my mother,
received a wound in his groin by the accidental discharge of a horse pistol,
from which he recovered in a few days."
After the disbanding of Zions Camp, the two cousins
were sent on a mission: History of the Church, Vol.2, Ch.22, p.300;
George A. and Lyman Smith returned from a mission to the east, after an
absence of five months.
The following year, Lyman was ordained a Seventy
and called to the First Quorum of the Seventy. Joseph Smith referred to him as the junior-most member of the quorum, but that almost certainly refers to
his age at the time of his ordination, only about twenty years old, rather
than the date of his ordination which is the way seniority in quorums is
He was ordained a Seventy March 1, 1835, under the
hands of Joseph Smith, sen., Joseph
Smith, jun., and Sidney Rigdon, the latter
being spokesman. He was the junior member of the First Quorum of Seventy.
On the 30th of the following May he was appointed to a mission to preach
the gospel in the East with George Albert Smith. Elder Lyman Smith, a second [third?] cousin, and member of the same quorum, was his traveling companion. They started June
5, 1835, traveled on foot about two thousand miles, without purse and scrip,
held about eighty meetings in the States of Ohio. Pennsylvania and New
York, baptized eight, and returned to Kirtland.
George A. Smith gives us an extended account of their journey excerpts
of which follow:
"June 5. —I started on a mission in company with
Lyman Smith. We traveled about two thousand miles on foot, without purse
or scrip, through the eastern part of Ohio, the western part of Pennsylvania
and New York; held about eighty meetings, baptized eight, and preached
from house to house continually; returned on the 5th of October."
"As I had no valise, I took a small tin trunk and
put into it a couple of extra shirts. My father gave me a pocket Bible.
Elder Lyman Smith, one of the same quorum and aged about 20 years and who
was my second cousin, being the same who was wounded by the discharge of
a horse pistol at Fishing River, in June, 1834, was appointed to travel
with me. As my trunk was not full, and he had no valise he put his extra
linen, etc., into it. We carried it alternately by a wooden handle attached
to the top of the trunk."
"We bore testimony to the truth of the fullness of
the everlasting gospel which God had revealed through his servant Joseph.
They in return called us many hard names. The priest said such teachers
were not wanted among his people. Brother Lyman Smith told them in the
name of Jesus Christ, they should be brought into judgment in the great
day for their conduct and they should know that the curse of God followed
them unless they repented. We then left them. After walking about 3 miles
we called at the house of a doctor and asked him to keep us, as ministers
of the gospel, for the night. He made fun of us, but told us where to find
a family of Latter-day Saints a mile and a half off. We were happy to find
them for we were kindly received and comfortably entertained for the night,
and in the morning we traveled on."
"It soon began to rain; we called at a number of
houses for entertainment but were refused. It grew dark, the rain came
down in torrents. On calling at a large log house and asking permission
to stay under its roof, we were answered if we were Mormon preachers, the
rain would not hurt us and we might lie out. It was 9 o'clock and very
dark and a mile to the next house. The woods being thick and the mud and
water very deep, it was with difficulty that we could find our way. When
we came near the house the dogs rushed upon us. Brother Lyman Smith walked
over them and knocked at the door. We were welcomed and asked if we would
not have some dry coats. We could hardly refrain from tears. We were shown
to an excellent bed, and after returning thanks to our Heavenly Father
we went to rest. When we arose in the morning the people had dried our
coats and prepared a good breakfast for us. We conversed with them and
found them liberal-minded, although Presbyterians. When we parted the proprietor
invited us to call again."
At the end of their journey George recounts:
"My feet were very sore. I had blisters on all my toes and one on the ball
of each foot and one of my heels was one complete blister. Brother William
Tinney and Brother Murdock collected a congregation and we preached in
the evening. In the morning I proposed to Lyman Smith to rest till my feet
got well. He replies, "I wish that little blister was on my heel, I could
walk with it." Being two years older than myself, I regarded him as my
senior and seeing his anxiety to get home, I told him if he would take
all the money we both had and go directly to the lake, it would be sufficient
to pay his passage to Fairport, and in two days he would be at home, and
I would wait till I got recruited then I would preach my way home at my
leisure; but he refused to separate from me, so I picked up our trunk and
said, "Let us be walking." The first tavern I came to I purchased a half
a pint of rum and poured it into my shoes. This at first made my blisters
smart, but soon relieved them of pain. I repeated this application twice
during the day and traveled 27 miles. In five days we were in Kirtland,
making the distance of about 160 miles in that time, though Brother Lyman
Smith gave out so that I had to carry our trunk most of the time for the
last three days. I soon learned the secret of his hurry; in two days after
his arrival he was married to my fair cousin, Clarissa Lyman, on the day
he had promised previous to his starting on his mission. My feet suffered
so severely on this trip that all my toenails except two came off. We arrived
home November 2, 1835, and was welcomed by President Joseph Smith, the
Prophet. We had traveled on foot 1850 miles, held 75 meetings, and baptized
eight persons; conversed with and bore testimony to everybody with whom
we had an opportunity.
"I was not able to write sufficiently well
to keep a journal and my traveling companion, Lyman Smith, kept a very
brief one, which was lost. He died in 1838, near Chicago, Illinois. I write
from memory, most of the dates, names and distances being forgotten, but
the principal facts are fresh in my mind."
Smith, History of the Church multiple citations, see index
George Smith, autobiography, Millennial Star, v.27, p.439