Posted in Reflections, Religion

Reflection: Womanhood Week 2 – Emma Hale Smith

Happy Purim! Ironically I had posted right before the festival!

This week, I would like to focus on Emma Smith and the “calling” she received as “elect lady.” In studying the book of Titus and Doctrine & Covenants 25, we see that the Lord looked upon her with favor and gave her the first important role in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In becoming a role model, she helped both the sisters of the newly formed Church and can inspire present day ones as well.

Background (taken from lds.org):

Born July 10, 1804, in Harmony, PA. Emma Hale was the seventh of 9 children.

She married Joseph Smith, Junior, on January 18, 1827, in South Bainbridge, NY. Together, they had 9 biological children and 2 adopted children.

She was the first general president of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo when it was formed in 1842.

Comparing the Scriptures – Titus 1 & 2 with Doctrine & Covenants 25:

1 – Salvation & Eternal Life are available to all who hearken unto the Lord and keep His commandments:

11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (Titus 2:11)

2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (Titus 1:2)

Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto you, Emma Smith, my daughter; for verily I say unto you, all those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom.

A revelation I give unto you concerning my will; and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life, and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion.

Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called. (Doctrine & Covenants 25:1-3)

2 – Thou art an “elect lady” / behavior that “becometh holiness”

a. Emma Smith is given a calling which supports her husband’s duty to the Church (D&C 25:5-11)

  • Comforter for her husband’s afflictions, console him, meekness.
  • Be a scribe when Oliver Cowdery is unavailable.
  • Using the Spirit, be ordained under Joseph Smith’s hand to expound the scriptures and exhort the Church.
  • Make a selection of sacred hymns. 

b. These characteristics line up with those of righteousness for an “aged woman.” (Titus 2:3-5)

  • Teachers of good things – teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.
  • Behavior that “becometh holiness” – discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Righteous Qualities:

Emma Smith showed immense love, faith, and trust towards Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as she helped her husband in the restoration of the gospel.

They moved a lot (!!), requiring much sacrifice – stability of having a home and stable food source. As the LDS converts were persecuted, she served as a mother-figure and leader to the women of the Church as the first president of the Relief Society.

She was meek and humble and self-sacrificing despite the hardship they endured.

What I learned for my own life:

While Emma Smith is not a Biblical character, she is a modern-day example of a woman who put her faith in the Lord and obeyed His commandments. In exchange, she was greatly blessed.

She was given the “calling” through divine revelation to serve as a scribe when another man was not available. Joseph Smith relied upon her to see him through the trials of life and she did so gladly. Together they brought forth the gospel in complementary roles.

If Emma Smith can endure all this, surely, my “first world” problems are minor in comparison. By holding steadfast to our covenants, I know hubby is just as committed to me as I am to him.

Becoming a homemaker this year caused anxiety in my heart – for the first time I was choosing not to work and provide an income to my family… what if the bills didn’t get paid… what if my husband died… what if… but the Lord doesn’t want us to worry.

By choosing to serve others – Heavenly Father, my husband, the community, my life has been filled with joy and the lives of both my husband and myself have been blessed.

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