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 Post subject: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:49 am 
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I just realized that Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, so December 23 is on a Sunday. This of course provides a great opportunity for the LDS church to prove its Christian roots by using that day to talk about Joseph Smith, it is his birthday after all.

So, will the average LDS ward celebrate Smithmas or Christmas on December 23 this year? I'm guessing my wife's ward will split the difference and dedicate part to Joseph Smith and part to Jesus. I may even have to show up and pay attention to see what happens, it could be entertaining.


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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:10 am 
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They are running Christmas advertising in New York this year. Mormom Newsroom

I'd bet the church acts as if the Mormon Moment was still happening and will try to make themselves look mainstream.


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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:14 am 
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Yes please! Bring back the Joseph Smith in a manger scene at BYU!

As for Sunday the 23rd, Jesus Smith's birthday - they will stick to the lesson manual. I don't have one so I have no idea what that will be - but my best guess is it will be devoted to Jesus Smith.

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:02 am 
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Outside of these boards I don't think I have ever encountered the term Smithmas.

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:34 pm 
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The only Will Smithmas I am interested in:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:39 pm 
Hey AS,
I don't know if you follow Daniel Petersons blog, but I think this entry might have been inspired by your OP.
Merry Smithmas

Quote:
One of the crazier and more transparently false allegations made against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by a relatively small handful of its harshest critics — curiously, I encounter this claim much more among disaffected secularizing ex-Mormons than among, say, Evangelical Protestant anti-Mormons — asserts that Latter-day Saint celebrations of the birth of Joseph Smith (on 23 December 1805) rival or even overshadow our observance of the birthday of Jesus Christ.


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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:53 pm 
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Image


This one is too large to post here:

http://www.salamandersociety.com/slamto ... mpaign.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:02 am 
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Aristotle Smith wrote:
I may even have to show up and pay attention to see what happens, it could be entertaining.

Here are a few suggestions that might be more entertaining (and productive).

* Darning socks
* Lint removal from the clothes dryer
* Catching up on missed episodes of "Jon & Kate Plus 8". and/or Full House (with the zany humor of Bob Saget).
* Watching grass grow or paint dry
* Converting old Rex Smith Records to Digital format
Image

The list goes on to near infinity, but you get the idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Stormy Waters wrote:
Hey AS,
I don't know if you follow Daniel Petersons blog, but I think this entry might have been inspired by your OP.
Merry Smithmas

Quote:
One of the crazier and more transparently false allegations made against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by a relatively small handful of its harshest critics — curiously, I encounter this claim much more among disaffected secularizing ex-Mormons than among, say, Evangelical Protestant anti-Mormons — asserts that Latter-day Saint celebrations of the birth of Joseph Smith (on 23 December 1805) rival or even overshadow our observance of the birthday of Jesus Christ.


You just can't make this stuff up. First, and this is a minor point, I am not a secularizing ex-Mormon. Ex-Mormon yes, secularizing no.

But, after denying vehemently that Mormons worship Joseph Smith and celebrate Smithmas, DCP then talks about what he and his family do every December 23rd:

Quote:
So far from the truth is it that my wife and I, ten or so years back, decided to host a small birthday party for Joseph Smith at our home every 23 December. We thought it sad that, amidst all the busyness and commercialism of Christmas, his signal contribution to our lives and faith usually went altogether unmentioned. We may have missed a year or two since then — though I’m not sure of that — and we’ll be out of state this year, but, for the most part, we’ve continued this newly-invented custom annually. Our birthday party typically involves a potluck dinner, something about Joseph Smith, and then . . . Christmas carols and Christmas hymns. (We include among those we’ve usually invited some good and exceptionally musical friends — e.g., a composer with a doctorate in musicology, a former professional opera singer, a music teacher and member of the Tabernacle Choir with a master’s degree in choral conducting, and several members of recorded choral groups — so it’s a real treat for us.)


So the proof that Mormons don't celebrate Smithmas is...the fact that DCP is the biggest purveyor of Smithmas. My irony meter exploded when in the very next paragraph after the quoted paragraph above was this:

Quote:
If anybody out there can point to specific examples of “Smithmas” in his or her experience, I would appreciate hearing about them.


Um, yeah, try your own blog post.


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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:26 pm 
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Daniel Peterson wrote:
(We include among those we’ve usually invited some good and exceptionally musical friends — e.g., a composer with a doctorate in musicology, a former professional opera singer, a music teacher and member of the Tabernacle Choir with a master’s degree in choral conducting, and several members of recorded choral groups — so it’s a real treat for us.)


"See!!! I have all these clever and highly qualified friends!!!"

I marvel at the fact that someone as intelligent as DCP could possibly think that this frantically self-advertising stuff will make anybody like him or admire him, or take any pleasure in contemplating the spectacle of his unlimited self-satisfaction. Seriously - normal people don't talk about themselves like that, especially normal people who have clever and highly qualified friends.

Trust me on this one.

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:22 pm 
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Aristotle wrote:
I just realized that Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, so December 23 is on a Sunday. This of course provides a great opportunity for the LDS church to prove its Christian roots by using that day to talk about Joseph Smith, it is his birthday after all.


Aristotle, no TBM will be able to overlook the close proximity of birthdays as random. Any Christmas I've had with TBMs always mentions Joseph Smith and the restored gospel. It's impossible to disentangle the two, and given the Joseph Smith part of the celebration members have that the rest of the world lacks, he becomes the most important ingredient by default. Anyway, check this lament out from the Church News in 1993

http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/2 ... eason.html

Ensign wrote:
Falling as it does just two days before Christmas, the birthday of the Prophet Joseph Smith is often overshadowed for Church members by the festivities of Christendom's most widely celebrated holiday.


The tragedy! The "unnamed holiday" takes priority over Joseph Smith.

But there's an explanation:

Ensign wrote:
..birthdays were evidently not celebrated in rural America in the early 19th century as they are today...


It's an accident of custom that Joseph Smith's birthday has not been a recognizable feature of the Christmas season for LDS, but this is slowly changing as the article implies.

Ensign wrote:
Certainly, however, the birth of Joseph must have been a joy to his parents and older family members. Perhaps they were even reminded of the sacred birth of the Savior observed two days later.


ROFL! Well, if the parents weren't reminded of Jesus, the author sure is, as every TBM out there should be.

Here's another one:

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1978/12/chri ... h?lang=eng

Ensign wrote:
The Prophet Joseph was born here just two days before Christmas. What a joy this beautiful infant son must have been to the Smiths, and to the Mack grandparents, who lived nearby, as they commemorated that holy day. Perhaps the event reminded them of another sacred birth under humble circumstances, in the meridian of time.


Ensign wrote:
As we commemorate the birth of the babe in Bethlehem, the Savior of the world, may we also remember his emissary, Joseph Smith, and consciously rejoice in his life and sacrifice, as well.


Smithmas is alive and well. In the first article I linked to, after describing several accounts of activities that happened during the Christmas season, and building up the case that we "owe" Smith better than we've given in celebration, the author says,

Ensign wrote:
Perhaps the greatest commemoration of the Prophet's birth was made on the 100th anniversary of his birthday. On Dec. 23, 1905, a massive granite shaft erected at his birthplace near Sharon, Vt., was unveiled and dedicated.


WTF? There's another quote about this:

Ensign wrote:
A special, virtually tangible spirit envelops the Christian world at Christmas with an intensity unknown the rest of the year. To Latter-day Saints the Christmas story, from Bethlehem to Calvary, takes precedence over the tinsel and the toys, for the Savior is the center of Christmas.

Within the Church there is also a second story associated with Christmas—from Sharon, Vermont, to Carthage, Illinois—which draws our attention during this season.


So what happened at Sharon Vermont that finally gave Joseph Smith his proper observance during Christmas time?

This:

Image

I'll let the reader be the judge as to what aspect of Smith's life this massive, erect granite shaft best celebrates. Let us all keep it close to our hearts this December 23.


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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Evidence that Mormons celebrate "Smithmas"?

Image

To be clear, I don't think I've ever heard a believing and active Mormon call it "Smithmas." I generally haven't seen these observances rival Christmas celebrations.

But a tradition of observing and remembering the birth of Joseph Smith definitely exists. I'm not sure how widely practiced it is, but it's there.

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Gadianton wrote:
Aristotle wrote:
I just realized that Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, so December 23 is on a Sunday. This of course provides a great opportunity for the LDS church to prove its Christian roots by using that day to talk about Joseph Smith, it is his birthday after all.


Aristotle, no TBM will be able to overlook the close proximity of birthdays as random. Any Christmas I've had with TBMs always mentions Joseph Smith and the restored gospel. It's impossible to disentangle the two, and given the Joseph Smith part of the celebration members have that the rest of the world lacks, he becomes the most important ingredient by default. Anyway, check this lament out from the Church News in 1993

http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/2 ... eason.html

Ensign wrote:
Falling as it does just two days before Christmas, the birthday of the Prophet Joseph Smith is often overshadowed for Church members by the festivities of Christendom's most widely celebrated holiday.


The tragedy! The "unnamed holiday" takes priority over Joseph Smith.

But there's an explanation:

Ensign wrote:
..birthdays were evidently not celebrated in rural America in the early 19th century as they are today...


It's an accident of custom that Joseph Smith's birthday has not been a recognizable feature of the Christmas season for LDS, but this is slowly changing as the article implies.

Ensign wrote:
Certainly, however, the birth of Joseph must have been a joy to his parents and older family members. Perhaps they were even reminded of the sacred birth of the Savior observed two days later.


ROFL! Well, if the parents weren't reminded of Jesus, the author sure is, as every TBM out there should be.

Here's another one:

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1978/12/chri ... h?lang=eng

Ensign wrote:
The Prophet Joseph was born here just two days before Christmas. What a joy this beautiful infant son must have been to the Smiths, and to the Mack grandparents, who lived nearby, as they commemorated that holy day. Perhaps the event reminded them of another sacred birth under humble circumstances, in the meridian of time.


Ensign wrote:
As we commemorate the birth of the babe in Bethlehem, the Savior of the world, may we also remember his emissary, Joseph Smith, and consciously rejoice in his life and sacrifice, as well.


Smithmas is alive and well. In the first article I linked to, after describing several accounts of activities that happened during the Christmas season, and building up the case that we "owe" Smith better than we've given in celebration, the author says,

Ensign wrote:
Perhaps the greatest commemoration of the Prophet's birth was made on the 100th anniversary of his birthday. On Dec. 23, 1905, a massive granite shaft erected at his birthplace near Sharon, Vt., was unveiled and dedicated.


WTF? There's another quote about this:

Ensign wrote:
A special, virtually tangible spirit envelops the Christian world at Christmas with an intensity unknown the rest of the year. To Latter-day Saints the Christmas story, from Bethlehem to Calvary, takes precedence over the tinsel and the toys, for the Savior is the center of Christmas.

Within the Church there is also a second story associated with Christmas—from Sharon, Vermont, to Carthage, Illinois—which draws our attention during this season.


So what happened at Sharon Vermont that finally gave Joseph Smith his proper observance during Christmas time?

This:

Image

I'll let the reader be the judge as to what aspect of Smith's life this massive, erect granite shaft best celebrates. Let us all keep it close to our hearts this December 23.


Ah, yes, "one of the largest polished shafts in the world", "said to be the world's largest polished granite shaft", "This monument is one of the largest polished shafts of granite in the world," "The Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial located in Sharon, Vermont is the largest polished single shaft of granite in the world." Indeed, even The New Era lauded Smith himself as "A Smooth and Polished Shaft."

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:59 pm 
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The odds that the senior Smiths had a Christmas tree, let alone one with wrapped presents, is very, very small.

But then BYU historians of Mormonism have seldom had a keen sense of accuracy.




MsJack wrote:
Evidence that Mormons celebrate "Smithmas"?

Image

To be clear, I don't think I've ever heard a believing and active Mormon call it "Smithmas." I generally haven't seen these observances rival Christmas celebrations.

But a tradition of observing and remembering the birth of Joseph Smith definitely exists. I'm not sure how widely practiced it is, but it's there.

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:25 pm 
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Blixa wrote:

I wonder why they didn't just call it an obelisk. But then, this is Joseph Smith we're talking about, so by calling it a polished shaft, they're not only naming it accurately, but turning it into an apt metaphor for the man it represents too!

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:41 pm 
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Chap wrote:
Daniel Peterson wrote:
(We include among those we’ve usually invited some good and exceptionally musical friends — e.g., a composer with a doctorate in musicology, a former professional opera singer, a music teacher and member of the Tabernacle Choir with a master’s degree in choral conducting, and several members of recorded choral groups — so it’s a real treat for us.)


"See!!! I have all these clever and highly qualified friends!!!"

I marvel at the fact that someone as intelligent as DCP could possibly think that this frantically self-advertising stuff will make anybody like him or admire him, or take any pleasure in contemplating the spectacle of his unlimited self-satisfaction. Seriously - normal people don't talk about themselves like that, especially normal people who have clever and highly qualified friends.

Trust me on this one.


I can't't stand name droppers either Chap. He could've left it at "we invite over some musically gifted friends...." Why the need to list credentials of his guests? Peterson loves to do this. I don't know him personally, but to me, his name dropping doesn't come off as arrogant, but insecure instead. It's almost as if Peterson feels he needs to prove his legitimacy to others despite his degrees, and credentials. He must feel inadequate somehow, so this is why he needs to use the name dropping in the hopes that his peers or readers will think of him as a big deal.

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:56 pm 
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Sethbag wrote:
Blixa wrote:

I wonder why they didn't just call it an obelisk. But then, this is Joseph Smith we're talking about, so by calling it a polished shaft, they're not only naming it accurately, but turning it into an apt metaphor for the man it represents too!


I once made that joke and Nehor had a cow: http://mormondiscussions.com/phpBB3/vie ... 808#p83808

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Quote:
I once made that joke and Nehor had a cow: http://mormondiscussions.com/phpBB3/vie ... 808#p83808


hilarious! Well I don't know, they don't want the defeatist attitude that goes along with the cross, why not embrace a take-charge symbol with ties back to the Book of Abraham facsimile? Decorating the Smithmas tree could take on whole new levels of meaning.


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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Blixa wrote:
Sethbag wrote:
I wonder why they didn't just call it an obelisk. But then, this is Joseph Smith we're talking about, so by calling it a polished shaft, they're not only naming it accurately, but turning it into an apt metaphor for the man it represents too!


I once made that joke and Nehor had a cow: viewtopic.php?p=83808#p83808

Good one! I especially like how you got in the multiple meanings for "shaft" that, totally different from each other, still both apply to Mormonism. Bravo!

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:29 am 
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Blixa wrote:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf10j3s5Tfc

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 Post subject: Re: Will Smithmas return this year?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:43 am 
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Ensign wrote:
Perhaps the greatest commemoration of the Prophet's birth was made on the 100th anniversary of his birthday. On Dec. 23, 1905, a massive granite shaft erected at his birthplace near Sharon, Vt., was unveiled and dedicated.

Perhaps it was rivaled by the commemoration of the Prophet's birth on the 200th anniversary of his birthday.

Thousands across world offer 'praise to the man'

Quote:
The opportunity to listen to a prophet's voice testifying of the Prophet of the Restoration drew a congregation of more than 20,000 to the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Dec. 23. Hundreds of thousands more joined in the "Joseph Smith Commemorative Program on the 200th anniversary of his birth" via satellite broadcast to 161 countries and by Internet worldwide with the proceedings translated into 81 languages. President Gordon B. Hinckley presided over the celebration on Joseph Smith's birthday from the Prophet's birthplace in southern Vermont. At the Conference Center were his counselors, President Thomas S. Monson and President James E. Faust, sitting with President Hinckley's chair empty between them. Joining them were 11 members of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder M. Russell Ballard being with President Hinckley in Vermont....

While the Conference Center stage was still dominated by the Christmas setting of The First Presidency Christmas Devotional and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert, the village church, cottage and flocked evergreens hinted of Joseph Smith's Vermont. A prominent statue of the Prophet on the stage was a constant reminder of the purpose of the evening.

Joseph Smith's birthday commemorated

A gift that is greater than all gifts

Quote:
President Hinckley said December also marks the 192nd anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith. "His birthday will grow in recognition and in importance as the years pass and the Church continues to grow."

Statue memorializes Prophet Joseph

Quote:
Joseph Smith's life was short, but his works are eternal, said President Gordon B. Hinckley during the unveiling ceremony Dec. 23 of a statue honoring the Church's first prophet.

The bronze statue, which is 1 1/2 times life size, is located in the Legacy Theater lobby of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Titled, "Leaning into the Light," it depicts the young Joseph Smith seated on a wooden chair reading from the Bible. The book is open to James 1:5 - the passage that led the then-14-year-old to pray for guidance about which church to join. Accompanying President Hinckley to the unveiling were his counselors, President Thomas S. Monson and President James E. Faust; Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, both of the Quorum of the Twelve; Elder Joe J. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy; and Bishop Richard C. Edgley and Bishop Keith B. McMullin of the Presiding Bishopric.

President Hinckley, who was assisted by several children, unveiled the statue 192 years to the day after the Prophet Joseph was born in upstate New York.

"This is his birthday," said President Hinckley. ". . . He became the great prophet of this dispensation. I marvel at Joseph Smith. I absolutely marvel at him, at what he accomplished during his short lifetime."

Celebrating Joseph Smith's birthday

Quote:
About 75 members of the South Royalton Ward, Montpelier Vermont Stake of the Church, celebrated the Prophet Joseph Smith's 196th birthday Dec. 23 with a party, including sandwiches, birthday cake and the singing of hymns at his birthplace. Sister Starley Smith, a service missionary at the memorial, led the group in singing "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet" and "God Bless America." The custom of having a Joseph Smith Birthday party at his birthplace began December 23, 1986, which would have been the Prophet's 181st birthday. Since that time the commemoration has continued annually.

Happy birthday! 46-year family tradition celebrates Prophet's birth

Quote:
Inspired by an article on the Prophet Joseph Smith she read in a 1960 edition of the Church News, Norma Moyes began a wintertime family tradition that has endured 46 years.

"I was so anxious to learn more about the Prophet, that I decided to have a family birthday party in honor of and to further the study of the Prophet," said Sister Moyes, now a member of the Holladay 25th Ward, Salt Lake Holladay South Stake.

Since the anniversary of Joseph's birth on Dec. 23, 1805, falls so close to Christmas, she decided to combine the celebration with an observance of the Savior's birth.

"So we had a small, 18-inch, white cake with a tiny manger scene on top and 'Happy birthday to Jesus and Joseph,"' she said.

"On the 21st of December, I wrote a small invitation to each member of my family, inviting them to a special birthday party. I told them someone would pick them up and to be ready at 7 p.m."....

Over the years, specially invited guests to the family gathering have included artists such as David Lindsley, Steve Olsen and Dee Jay Bawden, who have had Joseph Smith as a subject in their paintings, and relatives of the Prophet such as Elder Eldred G. Smith, a General Authority emeritus who served as patriarch to the Church, and Smith family friend Buddy Youngren. Lorena Normandeau, great-granddaughter of Joseph Smith, has attended with her daughter Gracia Jones. (They were the first direct-line descendants of the Prophet to join the Church.) All have shared their talents and testimony of Joseph's divine calling.

Celebrating the Prophet; Every December for 38 years, the Jones family has held a birthday party to honor a man who would be 195 this year.

A Joseph Smith birthday party

Ideas for Home Teachers:

Quote:
Discuss ways family members can better know the Prophet and his teachings. You may want to encourage family members to plan a special family activity on December 23rd to celebrate Joseph's 200th birthday.

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