In the early 1900s, a handful of prominent Latter-day Saints gathered in a tent at the edge of the Deseret News building.
There was Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, and his son Hyrum, and then there was an unidentified woman, the Prophet’s wife, Emma Hale.
The Prophet, in his early years, had always been a fan of the church’s revivalist movement, but he was especially drawn to the Mormon church’s efforts to convert converts.
He’d been particularly interested in the efforts of a young woman named Lucy Mack Smith, a charismatic and outspoken convert who became a key player in the LDS Church’s history.
Lucy’s story was told in a book, Lucy Mack: A Prophet’s Story, published in 1912 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Lucy, like many converts of the time, was a devout woman who often spoke out against the injustices of her day.
She’d been raised in a devoutly Christian household in rural Virginia and had never been to a church meeting, though she’d been a member of the Methodist Church.
She came to Salt Lake City as a young girl, at the age of 12, when she became a convert.
In 1894, Lucy joined a local Baptist church and soon moved to Utah to study law.
In Salt Lake, she married a young man named George B. McClellan, and after they moved to Nauvoo, she started her own family and soon began raising two daughters, who would later be called the Smiths.
As Lucy became more famous, she became involved in more and more prominent political campaigns, from running for governor of Illinois to running for the presidency of the United States.
She became a trusted political advisor and confidante of President Brigham Young and helped build the Mormons into one of the most powerful political forces in American history.
After the Civil War, Lucy moved to the West, and in 1876, she took her family to Salt Falls, Utah, to join her husband in building the Church.
At the time she was the oldest member of her family, and it was a new experience for her to be living in a big city.
Lucy was the first of her children to graduate from high school, but she was only nine years old.
She spent her first year in Salt Lake under the supervision of Brigham Young, a man who had been a Mormon missionary for only two years.
After graduating from high-school, Lucy went on to complete her undergraduate studies at Brigham Young’s law school.
In her first interview as a lawyer, she was asked if she thought it would be “a good idea” to run for the office of state attorney general, and she replied, “Yes, I do.
I have never been more determined than I am now.”
The next year, Lucy married a fellow missionary named George F. Richards, who became the first African-American to become a state attorney.
The couple had three children, and Lucy’s children became very active in the Mormon Church, including the Prophet Joseph Smith.
In 1906, when Lucy’s eldest son, John, was about to graduate high school and move on to Brigham Young University, the Church called for a large gathering of Mormon leaders in Salt Falls.
A day before the meeting, the prophet called together the apostles and apostles of the Church in a large conference room.
The event was called the “First Presidency Meeting,” and it included several leaders from Brigham Young.
Lucy stood by in the background as the meeting began, her eyes locked on the table.
“I will be the first one to say that I was not in favor of the First Presidency meeting,” she told the meeting.
“But I had to say to the members, if we can’t keep it in the family, it’s not the time.”
Lucy had a personal and professional interest in the meeting; she was one of Brigham’s closest advisers and was deeply involved in its preparation.
Her interest was also based on the fact that she was at that time a member.
She knew that if the Church wanted her to go to the meeting in Salt Riverdale, Utah—where she lived—she would have to give a speech that would be read by Brigham Young himself.
“This was my duty,” Lucy said.
“If I couldn’t attend the meeting or not participate, I had no other choice but to resign.”
When the First Lady, Lucy Smith, was asked about her participation in the First Presidio Meeting, she said, “Well, I was present, but it wasn’t my business.”
Lucy also said that she had never spoken publicly about her role in the Nauvao Raid, a brutal and controversial raid by the Mormon military in 1846 that killed four Mormon missionaries and three men who were helping them flee Nauvaca.
But she did say that she understood that the decision to send her to Utah was hers alone, and that she believed that the Prophet should have been