We are indebted to and grateful for the many individuals who have made this book possible. Particularly, we express our deepest appreciation for the generosity and patience of Carole Call King, descendant of William Jasper Harris and Martha Ann Smith Harris (daughter of Hyrum and Mary Fielding Smith). This project started with her discovery of and willingness to share her family heritage of letters written by Joseph F. Smith to his sister Martha Ann Smith Harris, Carole King’s great-grandmother. Additional Harris family members helped us along the way, including Davis S. and Ruth Mae Harris, Carol MacFarlene, and Mary Corbett Taylor. Mark L. McConkie, a great-grandson of Joseph F. Smith, also provided important primary sources for this book, including two original letterpress copybooks that contained additional letters written to Martha Ann by Joseph F.
We are also indebted to the Office of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for providing copies from its collection of Martha Ann’s letters to her brother Joseph F. These additional letters, written over many decades, provided a more complete picture of the written conversation between two devoted, loyal, and loving siblings.
The authorization to reproduce the letters and images found in this book comes from the Intellectual Property Office and the Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from the International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers, and from various Smith or Harris family members who are cited in the text.
We are grateful to the staff, including former staff members, at the Church History Library for their assistance with photographic and other research requests. In particular, we thank Chad Barker, Anya Bybee, Brittany A. Chapman, W. Randall Dixon, Keith A. Ereckson, Glenn N. Rowe, Ardis Kay Smith, and William W. Slaughter.
Staff members at the L. Tom Perry Special Collections in the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University provided invaluable help. We are especially grateful to Russell C. Taylor, Gordon Daines, and Cindy Brightenburg for their assistance.
We also give thanks to the many former Brigham Young University students who assisted on this long project: Austin Ballard, Andrew Bateman, Zanna H. Beckstead, Melissa W. Bennett, Kim Matheson Berkey, Kevin Brandvoldt, Emily Broadbent, Devin Butler, Michael Q. Cannon, Rebekah Ellsworth, Jacob Frandsen, Jasmin Gimenez, Jef L. Huntington, McKenna Johnson, Phillip V. LeCheminant, Rachel Christensen Nelson, Mallory Hales Perry, Rachel Christensen Nelson, Jennifer Price, Nyssa L. Silvester, Katie M. Skovran, Ben Tingey, Stanley J. Thane, Emily Wright, and Joseph Hyrum Wright. Their research, attention to detail, and editing have made this a far better book.
Susan Glenn, an accredited genealogist, turned over every stone to find a few people who are mentioned in the letters we could not find.
We appreciate Stephen C. Taysom and Nathaniel R. Ricks for reviewing the penultimate draft and providing important and thoughtful suggestions. We also express gratitude to several blind peer reviewers who worked with the Religious Studies Center publication office at Brigham Young University. These unknown scholars provided feedback, raised important questions, identified additional sources to consider, and helped us avoid making some mistakes of fact and interpretation. Their help has proved invaluable.
W. Paul Reeve, a colleague in the Department of History at the University of Utah, and Kenneth L. Alford, Alexander L. Baugh, Scott C. Esplin, J. B. Haws, and Andrew H. Hedges, colleagues in the Department of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University, read parts of the manuscript and provided helpful comments.
We are grateful for Thomas A. Wayment, former director of the RSC publication office, and Scott C. Esplin, the recently appointed director of that office, as well as Joany O. Pinegar, R. Devan Jensen, Don L. Brugger, Brent R. Nordgren, Emily V. Strong, Ashlin Awerkamp, Emily Cook, Megan Judd, and Michael Ray Morris Jr. at the RSC for their help in bringing this book to print.
Financial assistance from the Department of Church History and Doctrine, the Department of Ancient Scripture, and the Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University, which provided funds to pay for student research, was important in our efforts to complete this project.
Additionally, several individuals, including Clair and Mary Ann Anderson, M. Russell and Barbara Ballard, Douglas Heiner, Steven and Kalleen Lund, Ron and Jody Malouf, Von and Glenda Memory, Jolene Rockwood, and Blake and Nancy Roney made donations to a BYU gift account between 2013 and 2018. Their generosity and encouragement allowed us to complete the final stretch of our long journey and publish this book in color so we could highlight some of the visually interesting photographs, envelopes, letters, letterpress copybooks, and journals.
Finally, we express our deepest appreciation and love to our families for their patience, support, and constant encouragement.