Happy Women’s History Month. Today we have a tiny but mighty woman.
Lucy Mack Smith was the mother of nine children, including Joseph Smith Jr. and Hyrum Smith, and is known for being a strong voice in the early Church.
Considered very pious, Lucy was a frequent reader of the bible, prayed, discussed dreams and visions, and visited many denominations.
She was baptized\soon after her son Joseph organized the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830.
Because of her social standing within the church, her great piety, and natural leadership abilities, “Mother Smith” was often deferred to.
A favorite story and example of the authority she exercised is when, in May 1831, Smith was part of a company of eighty people traveling from Fayette, New York to Kirkland, Ohio, using the waterways rather than land.
Lucy later wrote, “Before leaving, I called them all around me. Now, said I, brothers and sisters, we have set out just as Father Lehi did to travel by the commandment of the Lord to a land that the Lord will show unto us if we are faithful…'”
The journey was difficult, the weather adverse. The ice was frozen and the company was stuck in Buffalo, NY, waiting for the ice to break so they could cross. Lucy and the company were told to be quiet about their religious beliefs as there was much persecution. Instead, Mother Smith stood on the deck and boldly proclaimed to the townspeople:
“Where is your confidence in God? Do you know that all things are in His hands?…raise your desires to heaven that the ice may give way before us and we be set at liberty to go on our way, as sure as the Lord live it shall be done.“
As soon as she finished, “A noise was heard like bursting thunder, and the captain cried out, ‘every man to his post!'”
Do you know what happened next? It is recorded that at that very moment, the ice parted.
I’m a bit awestruck on two accounts. One, most women at this time were not preaching publicly, certainly not to mixed-gender audiences on ship decks.
Second, the ice parted as Lucy commanded it. Now, you might not believe this story, or find the ice parting just a coincidence. But I like to think otherwise. I like to think that there is a God who inspires both men and women to not only preach, but also prophesy. The ice parts! We cross to safety.
Stay tuned for more amazing women!
Sources: At the Pulpit, Reeder and Hobrook