Lucy Mack Smith and Mighty Prayer
The next time you find yourself too tired to pray or too busy, please remember this story.
It was called the exodus of Kirtland—in early 1838 the enemies of the Church finally became so violent and threatening that many of the saints were forced to flee. It was January 12 when Joseph Smith was warned of the Lord and left Kirtland in the middle of the night. Others followed as they could and made their way toward Missouri. One family had a particularly difficult time. The patriarch of the family, an old man of 66 years was harassed by bogus lawsuits and forced to hide. In fear of his life, he ran from town to town and house to house for months to avoid his enemies. Finally all was in readiness and he reunited with his family and they fled west to join the saints in Far West, Missouri. They were a large company and the going was particularly slow, made worse by the weather. The mother spoke of a time when they lay all night exposed to the rain until they were soaked through. The next day it was fruitless to change into dry clothes for the rain continued to fall. For three days they trudged on cold, soaked, and weary until Mother was taken with a severe cold and a violent cough. By the time they reached the Mississippi River Mother was so ill she unable to walk or sit up.
To compound the already difficult circumstances, one married daughter, Catherine, went into labor, and in a squalid hut near the river, delivered a baby boy. All of this combined to render the family unable to travel.
A couple of days later, while the family was away, the aging mother set her mind that she needed to pray somewhere where she would not be interrupted. Some distance from the house was a dense thicket that would afford the privacy she sought. Accordingly, she took a staff in each hand and by that assistance was enabled to reach the thicket. As soon as she had caught her breath so as to speak with ease, she commenced praying for her health and that of her daughter. She called upon every promise of scripture that she could think of and continued praying faithfully for three hours. The Lord heard her. The wracking cough left her and she was made well.
She made her way back home and learned that her daughter was similarly ready to travel. The family of Joseph Smith Sr. soon went on their way and arrived safely in Far West. The mother determined to pray was Lucy Mack Smith.