Alvin Smith

Alvin Smith

Tunbridge, Orange County, Vermont, USA
Death 19 Nov 1823 (aged 25)
Palmyra, Wayne County, New York, USA
Burial Palmyra, Wayne County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 6333883 · View Source
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Oldest brother of Joseph Smith Jr., founder and Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On one occasion, Joseph described his older brother as "a very handsome man, surpassed by none but Adam and Seth, and of great strength" Alvin's mother said he was "a youth of singular goodness of disposition -- kind and amiable."
In November of 1823, Alvin suddenly became sick with what is called by his mother "bilious colic." The family doctor was not available, so a substitute was procured, who prescribed "a heavy dose of calomel" - a compound of mercury and chlorine that some thought would encourage the discharge of bile. Alvin at first refused to take the medicine, but was eventually persuaded. According to Lucy's account, "This dose of calomel lodged in his stomach, and all the medicine afterwards freely administered by four very skillful physicians could not remove it."
Realizing that he was dying, Alvin called the family members to him and one by one gave counsel and encouragement. Joseph at this time was almost 18 years old, and had only recently had his first visit with the Angel Moroni. Alvin's counsel to Joseph was: "I am now going to die...I want you to be a good boy, and do everything that lies in your power to obtain the Record. Be faithful in receiving instruction, and in keeping every commandment that is given you."
The family mourned greatly at the death of Alvin, and frequently wept in sorrow when they remembered his devotion to Joseph and his divine calling.

Family Members

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  • Created by: John J
  • Added: 9 Apr 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6333883
  • Michael Shea, MD
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Alvin Smith (11 Feb 1798–19 Nov 1823), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6333883, citing General John Swift Memorial Cemetery, Palmyra, Wayne County, New York, USA ; Maintained by John J (contributor 46505431) .