It took the curiosity of a Boston-area surgeon to uncover the identity of the man who conducted Joseph Smith's famous leg operation.

Once LeRoy Wirthlin made his discovery about four decades ago, it became apparent that Joseph and his family weren't the only Smiths of significance in the room when the 7-year-old boy underwent surgery around 1813.

Dr. Nathan Smith was pretty important in his own right, and Wirthlin's placing of the once-renowned New England physician within this historic account added an intriguing new facet to the story.

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