Mormon Lectionary Project: Emma Hale Smith

MLP

MLP

Emma Hale Smith
Proverbs 31, Psalm 51John 11:16, John 14:1-5, Ephesians 2:13-22Jacob 2, Moroni 7:40-48, Doctrine and Covenants 25

 

Miserere (Psalm 51)– Josquin, Brahms, Hurd

“In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions” (McDermid 1908)

Know This, That Every Soul is Free (First hymn in Emma’s original hymnal)

Amazing Grace (included in Emma’s Nauvoo collection of hymns)

Today we remember Emma Hale Smith, the Elect Lady of the Restoration and wife of Joseph Smith. The readings are about love and doubt, and the ways that they live together in every broken human heart. Emma, like the Apostle Thomas, like most of us, was hopelessly twinned–she loved and she doubted. And perhaps this is as it should be. Joseph, like all human beings, was not perfect, not entirely worthy of the perfect love and trust we owe only to God, who never compels our love or condemns our questioning. Emma’s great gift to the Saints, perhaps, is her example of letting her heart be broken again and again, without ever giving up the integrity of her soul. And while we Brighamites  have sometimes let our knowledge of Emma’s doubt obscure our memory of her devotion and love, it is hopeful that we are learning, as the body of Christ, to honor Emma again, to recognize that the Father’s house has many mansions, and that Christ has “broken down the middle wall  of partition,” both between our own doubting and loving selves, and between us as Saints of an ongoing restoration, to make us “fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”

The Collect: O God, who sent thy Son, “for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace,” make us also new persons. Break down the partitions in our hearts and minds; let us find reconciliation in the midst of doubt, that we may love Thee and each other with whole hearts. Let grace and charity abound in our remembrance of our foremothers and forefathers. Help us to sing with the saints, that the prayers of the righteous may be answered with a blessing on our heads. Amen.

Comments

  1. Jason K. says:

    Marvelous stuff, Kristine. Emma is indeed the test case for Brighamite charity. May we learn once again to take her into our hearts. As usual, the musical selections are perfect.

  2. “Emma’s great gift to the Saints, perhaps, is her example of letting her heart be broken again and again, without ever giving up the integrity of her soul.”

    That is the best description of Emma I have ever read.

  3. marginalizedmormon says:

    Wait a minute. I’ve never had any problems with Emma. And I’m not a Brighamite. Good heavens, no!

    Oh, well, maybe that’s why I post as ‘marginalizedmormon’.

    Thank you for this; it really is beautiful–

    and maybe the label “Brighamite” does apply to a few “LDS” or “Mormons”.

  4. That last line is transcendent.

    Read it again: “And while we Brighamites have sometimes let our knowledge of Emma’s doubt obscure our memory of her devotion and love, it is hopeful that we are learning, as the body of Christ, to honor Emma again, to recognize that the Father’s house has many mansions, and that Christ has “broken down the middle wall of partition,” both between our own doubting and loving selves, and between us as Saints of an ongoing restoration, to make us “fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”

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