Lucy Mack Smith s history of her son, Joseph Smith the Prophet, is one of the most significant source materials for early Mormon history. It commences with accounts which reach back to the family of Lucy s parents, including absorbing extracts from her father s journal on his army adventures, then briefly recounts the story of the family presented by herself and Joseph Smith, Senior. It is from this book that we obtain many of the now classic Mormon stories of life in the Smith family. Here the author relives the anguish of submitting the boy Joseph to the surgeon s knife without benefit of anesthetic. Here is recounted the series of crop failures which impelled the family to leave Vermont in favor of New York and the family s journey there in the company of a harsh and dishonest teamster. Here too are personal and family details supplementing the Joseph Smith account of the angel Moroni s visit, particularly the exciting incidents surrounding the delivery of the plates by the angel the midnight carriage ride with Emma, the gold plates hidden in a log in the forest, Joseph s encounters with ruffians as he raced home with the plates, the mob s attempts to obtain them and the ingenious precautions taken to preserve them, the inside story on Martin Harris and his wife and the loss of the 116 pages of the Book of Mormon manuscript. Without Lucy Smith s book, we would altogether lack such detailed and frequently intimate accounts. The hardships of the Smith family, now an integral part of the Church story, are likewise detailed in this volume. Examples are the first hand accounts of the move to Kirtland, later to Missouri, and still later to Illinois; the persecutions in those places; the mother s poignant story of the arrest of her sons Joseph and Hyrum by the mob militia under the threat of death, prior to their six months incarceration in Missouri prisons; her prevision of their escape and finally their safe return. As well as the Smiths themselves, in these pages we meet constantly with names prominent on the early Mormon scene Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Sidney Rigdon, Newell K. Whitney, Edward Partridge, Frederick G. Williams, John C. Bennett, and many others. Lucy Smith knew them all, and here she gives her recollections of them against the background of the joys and struggles of the newly restored Church. Near the end of the book, in a moving scene, she depicts her grief at the sight of the martyred bodies of her sons Joseph and Hyrum. As a brief but absorbing survey of the quarter century from the First Vision to the Martyrdom, given by one who participated in the events of those exciting but turbulent years, this book must be considered essential to the personal library of every Church member.