Emma Seraphine West Smith

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Emma Seraphine Smith (West)

Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: Benton, Tennessee, USA
Death: Died in Snowflake, Navajo, Arizona, USA
Cause of death: Breast Cancer
Place of Burial: Snowflake, Navajo, Arizona, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Samuel Walker West and Margaret West
Wife of Jesse Nathaniel Smith
Mother of Emma Seraphine Decker; Mary Josephine Smith; Hannah Daphne Dalton; Eliza Snow Smith Rogers; Jesse Nathaniel Smith, Jr and 4 others
Sister of Sarah Esther West Barton; John Anderson West; Isles Marion West; Susan Elizabeth West Smith; Margret Fletcher West Smith and 4 others
Half sister of Isaac Walker West; Phoebe Maria Pendleton; Minerva Ann West; Christena Elizabeth West; Hannah Rebecca West Allen and 1 other

Occupation: Married Jesse Nathaniel Smith 5/13/1852 in Parowan, UT
Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About Emma Seraphine West Smith

A short documentary for a Utah History Class from Parowan, Utah, found on Ancestry.com talks about Emma Seraphine West's family, including her brother, John Anderson West, and father, Samuel Walker West, two of the original settlers of Parowan, Utah, in the early 1850's. Also mentioned in the video was George Albert Smith, Emma's brother-in-law. George Albert Smith was an Apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and cousin to Joseph Smith, Jr., the Prophet and founder of the church, and son of Patriarch, John Smith. George was married to Emma Seraphine West Smith's sister, Susan Elizabeth West. Susan was his 7th wife and they had 5 daughters. Emma and her sister, Margaret Fletcher West, were both wives of Jesse Nathaniel Smith, first cousin to the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., and a cousin of George Albert Smith. Emma was the first of Jesse's five wives, they married in 1852. Her sister, Margaret married Jesse in 1856, had two children, but sadly, she died in 1864, at the very young age of 25 while Jesse was on a mission in Denmark.


The following information was found on Ancestry.com:

Conversion story of Emma Seraphine West's family: Samuel Walker West and Margaret Cooper West, the parents of Emma Seraphine West, were early converts to Mormonism. Margaret was baptized October 1, 1834, and Samuel followed a month later in November. Emma joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in childhood and moved to the beautiful city of Nauvoo, Illinois, with her parents. There they became acquainted with the prophet Joseph Smith, partook of the spirit and influence of the truthfulness of the gospel, and faithfully followed his teachings.

When the father contributed money and was censured by backsliders for such generosity, the father replied, ‘All that I have is at the disposal of the prophet of God,’ and the family sustained that attitude. Emma (or Emmy as she was always called by the southern accent) mourned with the Saints when she saw the bodies of the prophet and his brother Hyrum Smith after their martyrdom in 1844. When the West family was driven from their home in Nauvoo, Emmy remembered this long journey as a joy. Even the fear and dread of the Indians was never as much as that of the mobs and traitors before leaving Nauvoo.

SOURCES: The family of Jesse N. Smith 1834-1978 pg 1, Jesse Nathaniel Smith and His Wives by Silas Derryfield Smith (a son).

Obituary: Emma Seraphine West Smith, one of the noted pioneers of Iron county, Utah, and of Arizona, died at her home in Snowflake, Arizona, October 15, 1910, after a brief illness (from breast cancer). She was the daughter of Samuel Walker West and Margaret Cooper West, and was born January 3, 1836, in Benton County, Tennessee. Her parents joined the church the previous year, and with them she endured all the hardships of the Saints in the expulsion from Illinois. She came to Utah in 1851, and in 1852 moved to Parowan. There she met and married Jesse Nathaniel Smith, with whom she lived for 54 years, he having preceded her by death four years ago. The Apostle George Albert Smith performed the wedding ceremony of Emma Seraphine West and Jesse Nathaniel Smith on May 13, 1852, at Parowan, Iron County, Utah.

She endured the privations and hardships of those early pioneer days, and cared for her family of small children in the absence of her husband, who was a missionary in Denmark. During his second mission to Denmark, his second wife, Margaret died, leaving two small children. Since Margaret was Emma’s sister, she cared for Margaret’s children in addition to her own, and eight children of her husband’s brother, Silas, making a family of 15 small children. They moved from Parowan to Snowflake, Arizona, in 1880. In July of the same year she was chosen assistant to President Wilmirth East, of the Eastern Arizona Stake Relief Society and in 1883 became president.

When the stake was divided in December of 1887, she was made president of the Snowflake Stake Relief Society, in which office she faithfully served until August, 1905, when she was honorably released. From her childhood she has been a valiant church worker. She was the mother of nine children, 94 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Emma and Jesse's children were: Emma Seraphine, born August 12, 1853, Mary Josephine, January 23, 1855, Hannah Daphne, March 22, 1857, Eliza Snow, February 23, 1859, Jesse Nathaniel, Jr., May 16, 1861, Sara Elizabeth, February 2, 1866, Silas Derryfield, September 9, 1867, John Walter, June 10, 1871, and Samuel Francis, November 21, 1873.

Emma's younger sister, Nancy Malinda West, born in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1844, married John Henry Rollins, the son of James Henry Rollins. James Henry Rollins was a body guard for Joseph Smith, and worked for him in his store in Kirtland, Ohio, when he was a boy of only 14 years old. James Henry Rollins' sister, Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, and their younger sister, Caroline Amelia Rollins Kerr, saved some sacred Mormon documents from a building that was being burned by a mob when they lived in Ohio in about 1832. The girls saved the documents which were part of the Mormon's Doctrines and Covenants by hiding them in a corn field until the mob left the area.

Nancy Malinda West Rollins was my second great grandmother, and her sister, Emma, was my third great aunt. There are other photos of Emma under the Media Tab above, including one of Emma when she was older, one with her husband, Jesse, when they were young, and another when they were older.

Della Dale Smith-Pistelli, September 17, 2014.

The following information was from Family Search.org, and was written by Emma Seraphine West Smith's daughter, Hannah Daphne Smith Dalton:

The services of my ancestors in assisting in the pioneering of Utah were as follows: My father, Jesse Nathaniel Smith was born in Stockholm, St. Lawrence County, New York, on December 2, 1834. He died in Snowflake, Navajo County, Arizona, on June 5, 1906. My mother, Emma Seraphine West, was born in Benton County, Tennessee, on January 3, 1836. She died in Snowflake, Arizona, on October 15, 1910.

Father with his widowed mother, Mary Aikens Smith, reached Salt Lake Valley on September 25, 1847, in the Perrigrine Sessions Company. Grandfather's brother, John Smith, was very kind to assist grandmother and her two little boys through those pioneering times. Father's brother John Aikens Smith died of exposure and improper nourishment while they were fleeing from Far West, Missouri, because of the extermination order of Governor Boggs of Missouri. They stopped for the winter on the west bank of the Mississippi River, and brother Silas Smith also died from privations brought on through the persecutions against the Mormons. His death occurred September 13, 1839, after which his mother moved to Nauvoo, Illinois.

The widowed mother taught school in Nauvoo and her own two boys also attended school. Mary started west with the pioneers in April of 1847. She sold everything they possessed for which she procured an old wagon and one ox and a cow for a team. With this equipment they crossed the plains to Utah. Since there was a great scarcity of provisions, she and her sons went on half rations often depending on roots and wild berries for food.

After wintering in the old Fort of Salt Lake City, they built a little home on North Temple Street. In 1849 they moved to Farmington, Davis County, and there developed a small farm. However, when they were called in 1851 to go to Parowan, Iron County, they responded and there she lived until they were called to go to Arizona in 1879. She was a very remarkable and intelligent woman. She was aristocratic in her appearance and very gentle, lovable and kind. She was well respected by all who knew her.

My maternal grandfather, Samuel Walker West, and his wife, Margaret Cooper lived in Nauvoo where they associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith. They had been in the habit of using coffee all their lives but I have heard them relate that when they were baptized by Apostle Wilford Woodruff, they received a testimony of the truth and benefits of the Words of Wisdom which had not yet revealed by which they diligently kept all the rest of their lives.

But when the prophet first made known the Revelation on Plural Marriage, grandmother West declared that if an Angel from Heaven should tell her it was right she could not believe it. However, she made it a matter of prayer. On the following Sunday as she and her husband walked through their gate on their way to meeting, she said: "All creation was opened in vision to my view as it seemed to me. We were as the grass of the field and I can see it now how it looked as it ran off in the distance. Then I saw a plurality of wives, the Celestial order of marriage opened to my view and I knew it was right and a virtuous principle pertaining to the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus.

Then I saw the authorities of the church and what they had suffered to establish this peculiar doctrine. It was a grand point in the Gospel and had to be established in this generation. There was no getting around it, it had come forth. When I saw the labor of the Brethren and their toils and suffering my heart was pained for them and I loved and pitied them. I was no longer opposed to the two wife system. I did not speak of these things but pondered them in my heart. I realized the beauty and exaltation connected with this heavenly principle. It was grand and glorious and I felt rapt in joy."

Margaret was the mother of ten children, and besides caring for them she divided all she had in helping her husband take care of his two other families. She was a doctor and midwife and went for miles to attend the sick, often being gone from home a month at a time. She was very successful in her work and assisted with the birth of hundreds of children; her generosity was unbounded, never allowing anyone to leave her home hungry. Above all she had great faith and humility. She was a pioneer of Snowflake, Arizona, where she died June 19, 1882.

My mother, Emma Seraphine West Smith, while yet a little child moved with her parents to Nauvoo where her early life was interwoven with that famous place of the Mormon people. She endured the hardships incident to the pioneers in moving to the West. She was then a girl of fifteen years when they traveled through that trackless country from the Missouri River to Salt Lake Valley. They arrived on September 15, 1851, in Harry Walton's Company.

They were among the first settlers of Parowan, Iron County, Utah, where she was married to Jesse Nathaniel Smith on May 13, 1852. Her dainty form, winning smile, luxuriant head of light colored hair, and graceful dancing caused others besides Jesse to seek her hand in marriage. Through her mild and congenial disposition she soon won the heart of Grandmother Smith, who had always wanted a daughter and later admitted that she had got more than a daughter. No real mother could be more loved and no girl more welcomed by a mother-in-law.

Their first child, Emma Seraphine, was born August 12, 1853, and Mary Josephine was born on January 23, 1855. Through the example of her parents and the extraordinary conversion of Grandmother West to the principle of plural marriage as revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, she willingly consented for father to take her sister, Margaret Fletcher West, for a second wife. They were married on January 27, 1856. Notwithstanding she knew the struggle, privations, and sacrifices they would have to endure in living that principle.

In harmony the two sisters lived together under the same roof and when on February 13, 1857, Margaret Adelaide was born, mother was her tender nurse. In six weeks Aunt Margaret reciprocated when I was born to mother on March 22, 1857. They named me Hannah Daphne. We two babies were always dressed and treated like twins. All through childhood and girlhood, we were inseparable. We took our wedding together to Salt Lake City where we were both married in the Endowment House on May 1st, 1876. The congeniality of our mothers was manifest in us.

My sister, Eliza Snow, was born February 23, 1859. She was named for the poet and prophetess Eliza R. Snow. Eliza was the songbird of our family and under proper training she could have become an artist in song and music.

After having lived harmoniously together for four years, under the same roof, the two sisters were now to be separated as father had secured a farm in Minersville. So he had decided to move Aunt Margaret there where Joseph West Smith, the first son of the family was born in September 6, 1859.

In the Fall of 1859 father was plowing in the field and left his plow in the furrow when word reached him from President Young for him to go on a mission to Denmark. He was to be in Salt Lake City within twelve days in order to leave with the company that would be crossing the plains also to catch the ship that would be sailing for Liverpool. So he moved Aunt Margaret back to Parowan to live with mother in the four-room adobe house which father had succeeded in building.

Prior to and after Eliza's birth, mother and grandmother Smith had carded and spun enough yarn to make 30 yards of flannel, 18 yards of jeans and other long webs of cloth in preparation. Father had to sell everything available in order to equip for his mission. As he was about to leave he dedicated his family to the Lord. He had no ready cash but when his brother Silas bade him goodbye he left a $5.00 gold piece in Father's hand. The two sisters accepted the sacrifice the mission entailed and worked as a unit to support the family in every way within their power.

About seven months after father's departure for his mission, our brother, Jesse Nathaniel, Jr., was born on the 16th of May, in 1861, which made mother feel that the Lord had not forgotten her. Later she felt that He had a hand in sparing her son's life. As one day when she was preparing to do the family washing she had a large brass kettle full of water over the coals in the fireplace. The log that supported it gave way causing the hot water to flow out onto the baby where I was tending him on the floor. Our screams brought grandmother Smith who in lifting him pressed her hand on his abdomen so when he was undressed the skin hung to the clothing. The burn extended to his neck and one of my legs was badly scalded, but because of the excitement I made no complaint then. However the burn caused the cords to draw so that I was never quite normal.

For days and months the baby brother was carefully nursed by making a salve of thick, sweet cream and putting it on with a feather. Each morning some of the children would take a cup to get the fresh cream contributed voluntarily by our good neighbors. Father Dalton a dear friend of our family, Dr. Pendleton, and Samuel H. Rogers administered to him. Brother Dalton would always comfort us by saying: "Cheer up Sister Emma, Brother Jesse will see his son." The prophecy was fulfilled for he grew to manhood and reared a large, lovely family.

Allen Miller was a young Scotch boy in his teens whose mother had died while they were crossing the ocean. It was arranged for him to help Uncle Silas run our farm which was five miles away at Paragonah where Uncle and his families lived and where grandmother Smith taught school in the old fort. So in order for mother to be with and take care of them she moved there during the summer. Many a time Allen would carry me on his back to and from school because I had no shoes to wear. We all just loved him as a dear, big brother.

About then our food supply was at low ebb but by making porridge or potato soup with a liberal supply of milk, we were fairly well nourished. But then our only milk cow failed to come home and Allen found her in a deep ravine, dead. Poor little mother had to weep so Allen would try to comfort her by saying, "Never mind Aunt Emma, the potato soup is just as good without milk."

I remember how mother had taken a quantity of wool to spin for a woman and how I would sit up after the rest had gone to bed and hold the little pitch pine sticks and keep them burning as a light for her to spin by. How I looked forward to the time when the yarn would be done so mother would get her pay, but my disappointment cannot be expressed when she only received a pigs head for her days and days of toil. I often think those who grind the face of the poor ought to be pitied for some time or some where their utmost farthing will be required.

In June of 1864, father arrived home from his mission having been gone for nearly four years. His children had grown out of recognition and how noticeable the contrast in the buoyant, faithful wife of his youth who now was worn by care and toil and lacked the polish which his occupation had given him. However, she had proven herself to be a precious stone that needed only a chance and a touch to transform into a shining jewel.

Now that father had come and assumed the heavy burdens mother was able to take a few months respite, but anxiety in another form now visited their home when father was appointed Colonel of the Piute Military District and was called to take part in half dozen Indian skirmishes. It was on one of these expeditions following horse thieves that her dear brother, William Moroni West, was wounded.

Sarah Elizabeth was born February 2, 1866, and never was a child more welcome. Her features and disposition were beautiful and attractive, she radiated love and sunshine where ever she went. As she grew older all her brothers and sisters adored her.

With mother's consent father married Miss Janet Johnson October 9, 1866. Janet showed her appreciation for the cordial welcome accorded her in their home and she did her best to be congenial and helpful. She was a good weaver and very resourceful. I always loved Aunt Janet for the interest she took in us girls. Once a young man invited me to go with him to a dance. I hesitated for I had not a suitable dress. The cloth for one was in the weaving but Aunt Janet said if you will wind the quills, I can weave it out in time so your mother and grandmother can get it made. The sequel is I went to the dance with that new dress on as happy as anyone there.

On September 9th, 1867, another son was born to mother causing her heart to rejoice. He was very robust with curly flaxen hair. They christened him Silas Derryfield Smith for grandfather Smith and the place where he was born.

During the last two years of father's sojourn in Scandinavia, he presided over that Mission. Again a call came for him to go and take charge, notwithstanding the privations and trials which mother endured on his former mission, she again loyally supported him. He left Salt Lake City on August 17, 1868. On the 15th of September in 1868, a sweet baby girl was born to Aunt Janet whom they named Susan Janet.

All during those two years those two faithful women worked together for a common cause sharing the joys over the achievements of their husband as well as the trials incident to a mission. When he was released and arrived home in August, 1870, we felt like our troubles had now ended.

Father became very prosperous in all of his business undertakings so when mother's third son, John Walter, was born on June 10, 1871, the dear little soul could enjoy some of the comforts of life and she could take part in the social activities.

When she was called to preside over the Ward Relief Society she readily acquired executive ability and her public addresses would do credit to a college student and so the rough chiseling and severe grinding did not mar but brought out the luster and genuine value of the real gems.

When father married Augusta Marie Outzen and brought her into the family, mother accorded her the same welcome which had been given to his other wives. He married Augusta in Scandinavia, and their daughter, Bathsheba was born in Salt Lake City before they got to Parowan on his return from his mission.

When Emma's fourth son, Samuel Francis, was born on November 21, 1873, she knew without a doubt that the Lord was pleased with her. All of her nine children grew to maturity and raised fine families.

When father was called to preside over the Eastern Arizona Stake, mother as before, sustained her husband in honoring the call and willingly gave up her much earned comforts to help pioneer the desert. It was in May of 1880 that she moved to Snowflake, Apache County, Arizona, and lived in tents until a log house could be built.

She accepted the position of presiding over the first Primary Association organized there where she won the love and confidence of all the children. A few years later she was set apart to preside over the Stake Relief Society which position she held for many years. She taught the sisters to uphold and help to advance their husbands in all good works for thereon depended their own advancement. In her addresses she could encourage, exhort, and prophesy as one inspired from heaven. She won many, many dear friends.

Although mother was advanced in years she now for the fourth time consented to again share her husband and her home with another woman when father married Miss Emma Larson whom she welcomed as a daughter. It was truly beautiful to see the first Emma mothering the young wife and her children. Then in her declining years to see the young Emma watching over and caring for her as tenderly as any daughter could. In times of sickness or at the birth of a child in the homes of the other wives mother was always called in to assist. When she was not able to render physical aid she was asked to give her faith and prayers for them, which was devotedly given and meant so much.

One day as she was lying on the couch taking a rest she said, "Jesse, Sister Peterson of Pinedale wants you to preach her husband's funeral sermon." "How did you know," he questioned. "It came to my ear just like a telephone message." At that time there was no telephone connections between the two towns. The next morning with buggy and team they reached the place of the funeral to the surprise of Sister Peterson who said, "I told the folks yesterday there was no one I would rather have speak than President Smith, but we had no way to get the word to him in time."

After the death of father, mother looked forward with anticipation to her journey on the other side where she could mingle with those gone before. For their diligence in taking God's advice I fancy they could see that faith and works and sacrifice had won them honors in eternity. In her will she bequeathed equal portions to the three living wives and to Margaret's two children with her own children. At mother's funeral fifteen or more speakers expressed sentiments of praise of her humble, prayerful and faith promoting exemplary life.

A little editing was done by the typist, Lilia S. Seegmiller.

SOURCE: Family Search.org

The following information about Emma Seraphine West Smith was found on a blog entitled, "Sharing our Links to the Past." by Wally and Frances Gray, and reads as follows:

Pioneer Women by Roberta Flake Clayton. Privately Printed, Mesa, Arizona, 1969.

The West’s and Coopers are found among the builders and founders of many localities of the South, Emma Seraphine’s parents were Samuel Walker West and Margaret Cooper. Emma was born 3 January 1836 in Benton County, Tennessee. Not long after Joseph Smith had organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wilford Woodruff came to Tennessee preaching the restored gospel and the Wests accepted the truth.

The first child born to this family after their acceptance of the gospel was Emma Seraphine. Margaret thought her tiny daughter would be a natural born Latter-day Saint. Subsequent events proved that Emma was a righteous Israelite indeed.

The West's moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, and Emma remembers how closely her father was associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith giving him much financial support. She saw and mourned with all the Saints at the time of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum Smith. They suffered through the trying scenes during the Mormon exodus from Illinois.

In the migration to Salt Lake City, Emma tells of the pleasure in the campfire dances where they learned the cotillions and steps of the square dance. She and her brother John were beautiful dancers. This relaxing entertainment helped to ease the hardships of the journey. The Garden Grove Company the West's traveled with reached Salt Lake City in late September of 1851. They camped on the banks of the Jordan River but were soon given a call to go to Southern Utah, Parowan, Iron County, where they arrived in late October.

In this town the widow Mary Aikens Smith and her two sons, the younger son, Jesse, soon caught the interest of the sweet sixteen-year-old Emmey, as she was called, and this couple was married in Parowan on May 13, 1852. Their life together was happy and full of love despite the hardships and privations in their pioneering. Nothing gave her so much satisfaction as to see honor and trust come to her husband.

For many years this village of Parowan was to be Emma’s home. Here all of her nine children were born, and it was here her husband brought three of his four other wives. Emma believed in practicing all the principles of the restored gospel and The Law or Sarah or polygamy as taught in the Bible and by the Prophet, which she accepted. She could never conceive of anything base or degrading in the great man she loved, her loyalty and trust in her husband were supreme; each time he chose to bring a new wife into the family circle, he had the consent of each one. Jealousy and selfishness had to be overcome by loyalty and unflinching devotion to a righteous cause.

Twice Jesse Nathaniel Smith received mission calls to Denmark. This brought more work and sacrifice to Emma but it was not her nature to complain. One winter the children had no shoes to wear, bread and molasses was their lunch, breakfast was nothing more than a thickened porridge thinned with a pint of milk, for dinner a few potatoes were added to the porridge. This kind of ration was all that a family of three women, seven children, and an adopted big boy had to subsist upon. As though things were not bad enough, Old Line, the cow, fell and broke her neck. Amid tears the stricken family tried to think that the porridge and potato soup were just as good without the milk. That Christmas the children hung up their stockings, but when they awoke their stockings were empty. Emma wept over their disappointment, but composing herself, she found from somewhere just one apple which she divided among the little folks.

Every day and far into the night this mother worked to provide for her family, splints of pitchy wood were lighted and held, at night, by the older children while Emma did her spinning. Even sorrow and death had to be a part of that winter’s experience. Emma’s sister Margaret and the second wife of Jesse Nathaniel Smith died leaving two children to Emma’s care. These children she loved and brought up as her very own. Then Uncle Silas, Emma’s brother-in-law, lost both of his wives. Arrangements were made and Emma and her mother-in-law, Mary A. Smith, moved into the uncle’s home where the two women cared for the children of four mothers until the return of Jesse from the mission field.

Now that the father was home he prospered in his work so that his family could have sufficient food and clothing and he brought his third wife, Janet M. Johnson, into the family circle. In 1868 he returned to his mission field leaving his family in better circumstances than before; their oldest daughter, Emma Seraphine, was married in 1869 to Zachariah Bruyn Decker.

After Jesse had finished his mission in 1870, he returned home to care for his family. Emma’s load was lightened, as they could afford more and better things, she was neat and tidy in her dress–she loved lace and dainty things–and was so happy when her loving husband stroked her wavy hair, telling her that she was prettier than ever before. Jesse brought with him from Denmark his fourth wife, Augusta Maria Outzen. She was unaccustomed to this new environment and Emma had the opportunity of making her happy and comfortable as circumstances would permit.

Parowan was emerging from the rigors of pioneering when the Smith family was called to go to Arizona to help in the colonizing of that country. Emma remained in Parowan with Augusta until 1880; Jesse had located his wife Janet and children in Snowflake in January 1879. He was called to be president of the Eastern Arizona Stake. He sold all his property in Utah. The graves of two infant daughters, his wife Margaret, and his beloved mother were all that he left in Parowan, all of his married children followed him to Arizona.

They began at the grass roots, living in tents and wagon boxes until some log cabins could be built. Emma’s health was well broken from the hardships endured while the long missions were being filled, but the work must be done and with a gracious spirit she did her part. Emma was a mother of great faith, hope, and charity; obedience was always taught and required of her children. The promise for disobedience was often administered with a switch and the children discovered that that promise never failed, yet she was a mother who understood the full meaning of mercy and her merciful tears did more than the oiled switch in establishing true repentance, so her children testify.

Faith promoting stories, learned in her childhood and told to her children, strengthened their courage and made a lasting impression upon them. One experience as a child in her Tennessee home: A spring of water some distance from the house furnished the water used in the home, it had to be carried in buckets. At night Emma was afraid to go to the spring for water and finally her mother said to her, “Emmey, if you will go with a prayer in your heart, you will not have any fear and nothing will hurt you.” In doing this as her mother suggested, Emma declared her fears vanished and courage and trust were felt ever after.

When her mother, Margaret Cooper West, heard of “The Celestial Marriage System,” polygamy, that was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, she said it was a wicked and devilish thing and if an angel declared it unto her she would not believe it. However, no angel appeared, but a vision opened to her view, her mind expanded in understanding, in her words she saw the visions of greatness wherein great blessings came through obedience and sacrifice in that it was as much for the women’s exaltation as for the man and that the plan of exaltation by obedience and sacrifice were the great redeeming and ennobling opportunities ever revealed from heaven to man; and “Oh how the Devils raged.”

The magnificence and great exalting attainments connected with this manifestation converted Margaret Cooper West to the principle of plural wives, she now encouraged her children to practice it and also her husband.

In Snowflake, Emma’s home was across the street from the Swedish family of Larson's. There were two sons and two daughters, the oldest girl, Emma, became the fifth wife of Jesse N. Smith, 28 October 1881, and the next one, Ellen Johanna, married Emma Seraphine’s son, Silas Derryfield Smith, 10 November 1886.

This young vigorous woman took over the heavy work in Emma’s home, they were a mother-daughter combination. By the children in the families they were designated as Aunt Emma or Aunt Emmey and Aunt Em. In fact, most everyone addressed them by those names. These two women always lived in the same house. After the husband’s death, the older Emma preferred living with the younger rather than live in any of the homes of her own children. The older Emma, due to her age and affliction, required care and attention. Love and loyalty grew up between these two women of vastly different ages, the sacrifice of each great to be a bond of affection and esteem.

Emma was faithful in attending to her church and performing any commission given to her. She was sustained as president of the Eastern Arizona Stake Relief Society on July 1, 1883, her counselors being Lois B. Hunt and Frances White. The stake was divided in 1887 and she was retained as Relief Society Stake President of the Snowflake Stake with Emily J. Lewis and Sarah Driggs as counselors. Through the years her counselors changed but she held this position until 11 August 1905. Her diligence in meeting appointments could not be excelled. It took many hours of tedious travel, with horse drawn buggy or wagon, to visit the scattered wards. The love she fostered for others, the faith, integrity, and goodness which were a part of her, she instilled into the lives of the women she labored with.

No one more honestly deserves the beautiful title “MOTHER” than did this frail little woman. From her teens until her death 15 October 1910, she brought glory and sanctity to the greatest gift that has been given to womankind, that of motherhood. Every child had an intimate place in her heart, many of them not her own. The beauty of a great soul was found in her.

Her life depicted events more stirring than fiction. The love she fostered for others was more lasting than costly paintings, all the grandeur of her nature found expression in deeds of human kindness, understanding and sympathy. She made for herself a remembered place among the noblest of the earth.

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Emma Seraphine West Smith's Timeline

January 3, 1836
Benton, Tennessee, USA
August 12, 1853
Age 17
Parowan, Utah, USA
March 10, 1854
Age 18
January 23, 1855
Age 19
Parowan, Iron, Utah, USA
March 22, 1857
Age 21
Parowan, Utah, USA
February 23, 1859
Age 23
Parowan, Iron, Utah, USA
May 16, 1861
Age 25
Parowan, Iron, Utah, USA
February 2, 1866
Age 30
Parowan, Iron, Ut
September 9, 1867
Age 31
Parowan, Iron, Ut