In the News

Video: Joseph Smith family’s foundation in Topsfield, Massachusetts

TOPSFIELD, Massachusetts — Almost four centuries ago, Robert Smith — the Prophet Joseph Smith’s third great-grandfather — settled on a farm in the quiet, well-kept New England village of Topsfield, Massachusetts, after emigrating from England. The next four generations of Smiths would live, serve and worship in Topsfield. The Prophet’s father, Joseph Smith Sr., was born there.  

“The world needs to understand that a little community just outside of Boston, about 15 miles or something, was really the gathering place of preparing the Prophet Joseph Smith,” said President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a descendant of Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith’s brother.

Read more: Topsfield: The prequel to Joseph Smith’s story that helped lay the groundwork for the Restoration

This Church News video, produced in partnership with Ensign Peak Foundation and titled “Foundations,” highlights a new monument, built to honor Joseph Smith’s forefathers and Topsfield’s significant history.

“It’s a remarkable family line as it relates to Church service and to dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ,” said President Ballard, who is featured in the video. “I’ve read everything I can about them, and I stand in awe of the absolute unwavering faith of that branch of the Smith family.”

The new monument in Topsfield’s Pine Grove Cemetery stands next to another Smith marker, placed in 1873 under the direction of George A. Smith, a cousin to the Prophet Joseph.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed