Video: President Ballard reflects on Joseph Smith’s ancestors in Topsfield, their ‘unwavering faith’

The Prophet Joseph Smith’s father, Joseph Smith Sr., was born in Topsfield, Massachusetts. Four generations of Smiths lived there before he did, beginning with Robert Smith, who came to the United States from England in the late 1600s and settled in Topsfield.

“It’s a remarkable family line as it relates to Church service and to dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ,” said President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in a new Church News video titled “Unwavering Faith.”

“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. They were believers. They knew the Lord.”

President M. Russell Ballard speaks about Topsfield, Massachusetts, where a new monument now honors five generations of Joseph Smith's family.
President M. Russell Ballard speaks about Topsfield, Massachusetts, where a new monument now honors five generations of Joseph Smith’s family. Credit: Photo by Rhett Lewis

The video, published Dec. 7, shows a new historic marker in Topsfield, a small town 20 miles north of Boston, that honors the five generations of Smith family members that lived, served and worshipped in the area.

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

Donated by the Ensign Peak Foundation, the marker will be dedicated in coming months.

“The world needs to understand that that little community … was really the gathering place of preparing the Prophet Joseph Smith,” President Ballard said.