On January 18, 1827, Joseph Smith married Emma Hale in South Bainbridge, New York. In 1842, Joseph reflected, "What transports of joy swelled my bosom, when I took by the hand on that night, my beloved Emma . . . even the wife of my youth: and the choice of my heart."1
Born July 10, 1804, Emma was the daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, from Harmony (now Oakland) Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Emma was genuinely religious and given to prayer. She readily accepted Joseph Smith's calling from God and stood by him all his life. Just before her husband's death, Emma wrote, "I desire with all my heart to honor and respect my husband as my head, ever to live in his confidence and by acting in unison with him retain the place which God has given me by his side."2
Joseph and Emma Smith's marriage of 17 years was blessed with 11 children (2 adopted), 6 of whom died in infancy. Joseph Smith taught that parents are to treat children with unfailing love and kindness and teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ.3
Joseph and Emma Smith centered their marriage and family in the gospel of Jesus Christ—an example to all.
1. Joseph Smith journal entry, Aug. 16, 1842, Nauvoo, Illinois, in Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, comp. Dean C. Jessee (2002), 560.
2. Emma Hale Smith, Blessing (1844), Church Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.
3. See D&C 68:25–30.
Wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Lord commanded Emma to make a selection of hymns for the Church. She also served as the first president of the Relief Society (The Guide to the Scriptures, "Smith, Emma Hale," 229–30).
Learn more about the blessing of eternal families.
Learn more about the Nauvoo Temple.
Read an article about Joseph and Emma Smith's courtship.