13 Little Known Facts About Joseph Smith

Painting of Joseph Smith

This article was originally published in Deseret News. Below is an excerpt.

In the book “500 Little-Known Facts about Joseph Smith,” Wayne J. Lewis, Jana Lee Cox and Lee Nelson have compiled interesting facts about Joseph Smith’s life, the people he interacted with and his spiritual experiences.

Thirteen of those 500 little-known facts are included in this list.

Several sources, as cited in “500 Little-Known Facts about Joseph Smith,” are included on each slide, and those that are abbreviated on the slides are listed below.

HC: “The History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” by Joseph Smith, edited by B. H. Roberts. Volumes 1–7, 1951, 1980, Deseret Book, 3,992 pages.

JD: “Journal of Discourses” by President Brigham Young, His Two Counselors, the Twelve Apostles and others, reported by G. D. Watt, and D. W. Evans, Liverpool, England 1867.

D&CWW: “Doctrine & Covenants Who’s Who: A Comprehensive Guide to the People in the Doctrine and Covenants” by Ed J. Pinegar & Richard J. Allen, 2008, Covenant, 201 pages.

Joseph and Emma’s Posterity
Image via Nadine Barton, LDS.org.
Image via Nadine Barton, LDS.org.

“The Joseph Smith Jr. and Emma Hale Smith family organization estimates that there are 1,600 descendants of Joseph Smith and Emma, of whom about 1,100 are living today. There are 130–140 confirmed Latter-day Saints among those 1,100 who are still living.”

Angelic Visitors
Image via Deseret News.
Image via Deseret News.

Joseph Smith saw a recorded 139 heavenly beings, according to “500 Little-Known Facts about Joseph Smith.” A few of those visitors are listed below.

  • John the Baptist (D&C 13)
  • Adam, or Michael (D&C128:21; JD 9)
  • Abraham (HC, 2:380; D&C 27:10; JD 21:94)
  • Moses (D&C 110:11)
  • Noah (D&C 128:21; JD 21:94; Hyrum L. Andrus, “Joseph Smith, the Man and the Seer.”
  • Cainan (HC, 3:338; D&C 107:53–57)
  • Abel (HC, 3:388; JD 18:325)
  • Alma the Younger (JD 27:374; Hyrum L. Andrus, “Joseph Smith, the Man and the Seer”)
  • Mormon (JD 27:374; JD 17:374; Hyrum L. Andrus, “Joseph Smith, the Man and the Seer”)
  • Lehi (JD 16:265–266; Brian L. Smith, “Joseph Smith and the Doctrinal Restoration: The Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium,” 343)

Cited in “500 Little-Known Facts about Joseph Smith,” 33-38

Visits from Moroni
Image via Intellectual Reserve.
Image via Intellectual Reserve.

Joseph Smith saw Moroni at least 27 times, according to “500 Little-Known Facts about Joseph Smith.” Some of these visits are listed below.

  • Sept. 21-22, 1823: Moroni visited Joseph three times.
  • Sept. 21, 1823: Moroni visited Joseph next to the fence near the Smith log home.
  • May-June 1828: Moroni visited at Joseph and Emma’s log cabin in Harmony, Pennsylvania, when the 116 pages were lost. Moroni picked up the gold plates and the Urim and Thummim.
  • 1828: Moroni was seen by Joseph, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer while walking on the road to the Whitmers’.


To read more interesting facts about Joseph Smith, visit Deseret News.

Bridget is a newsroom writer at LDS.net. She graduated in April 2015 from Brigham Young University in communications with an emphasis of public relations. She served a Spanish speaking LDS mission in McAllen, Texas. She is a skilled pianist and an expert baker of chocolate chip cookies.