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Historians can thank Joseph Smith's mother for the knowledge of several significant events that occurred in the life of the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Young Joseph's leg operation, accounts of persecution the Smiths suffered from people trying to obtain the golden plates and details about the great sense of loss the family felt when the oldest son, Alvin, died all came from the record kept by Lucy Mack Smith. According to Sharalyn Howcroft, assistant archivist for the Joseph Smith Papers project, Lucy's record provides details that Joseph's own history did not.

"There are aspects of Joseph Smith's history that he doesn't really talk about in his own history," Howcroft said.

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