Some may know him as one of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon and one of the first missionaries of this dispensation, and others may know him as the man who brought the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum back to Nauvoo from Carthage. But in this month’s Ensign, we all get to know Samuel H. Smith a little better as the great and humble man that he was.
The article, simply titled “Samuel H. Smith,” gives a run-down of facts about Samuel’s life, as well as quotes from those who knew him. It focuses on what a hard worker he was and how his willingness to take care of temporal labors allowed his brothers to have “more freedom to fulfill their missions relative to the Restoration of the gospel.”
I’m sure most people probably didn’t know much of the information in the article, aside from some Church history buffs and descendants of Samuel Smith. I like the story about his being shot at on the way from Nauvoo to Carthage. There’s even a picture of it in the article (which you can see in the PDF version).
I see Samuel in a similar light as other brothers of prophets, such as Sam, Shiblon, and Jared, each of whom was likely a great man in his own right but who is not featured prominently in our records. However, we can all take comfort in the knowledge that our contributions are known to the Lord. As Joseph Smith Sr. said to Samuel in a blessing, “Thou shall hear [the Lord’s] voice [saying] Samuel, Samuel. Thou shalt be equal to thy brethren.”