Question & Story 6th Day Christmas Past

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013 in Christmas Past 2013 | 13 comments

PrintQuestion 6th Day Christmas Past:  What was Joseph F. Smith still able to give to his children for Christmas even though he hadn’t a single penny to spend?

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Joseph F. Smith
Joseph F. Smith remembered one Christmas holiday when there was not even a dollar to buy anything for Christmas.  By now he was the father with young children.  He was working at the Church tithing office from 6 am until 11 pm each day, for which he received three dollars per day in tithing pay.  This meant he could go to the tithing store and exchange his pay for flour or meat or molasses.  At least the family had food.

He described how he felt that holiday as he longed to provide his family with a wonderful Christmas:  “I left the old home with feelings I cannot describe.  I wanted to do something for my chicks [children].  I wanted something to please them, and to mark the Christmas day from all other days – but not a cent to do it with!  I walked up and down Main Street, looking into the shop windows – into Amussen’s jewelry store, into every store – everywhere – and then slunk out of sight of humanity and sat down and wept like a child, until my poured-out grief relieved my aching heart; and after a while returned home, as empty as when I left, and played with my children, grateful and happy only for them.”

After these trials Elder Smith says that his way became easier.  Through hard work he prospered and was finally able to keep Christmas the way he wanted to.  But he never forgot his Christmases of want, when he gave his children the greatest gifts any father could give – his love and his time.

Joseph F. Smith, “Christmas and New Year,” 266-67.
Laura Willes, “Christmas with the Prophets,” p. 63-64

    13 Comments

  1. He gave his love and his time. Which is really the greatest gift you can give to your children!!!!

  2. Joseph F. Smith gave his children the true lasting gift of a father’s love and time and also his example of dedicated service to the Lord.

  3. Joseph F Smith gave his children his love and his time….the greatest gift any father can give.

  4. Joseph F. Smith gave his children the greatest gift any parent can give – his love and his time. What a wonderful gift to give any time of the year!

  5. His Love and Time !!!

  6. Joseph F. Smith was unable to give his family anything of monetary value. He wandered the streets after working hard, but couldn’t get what his family might have wanted. Defeated, he returned and gave his family something that they truly needed, his time and attention.

  7. Joseph F. Smith remembered one Christmas holiday when there he didn’t have even a dollar to buy anything for Christmas. By now he was the father with young children. He was working at the Church tithing office from 6 am until 11 pm each day. For which he received three dollars per day in tithing pay. This meant he could go to the tithing store and exchange his pay for flour, meat or molasses. At least the family had food. He wanted to give his children more, to mark the special day with something. In the end, he gave his children the greatest gifts any father could give – his love and his time.

  8. As the oldest of nine and having experience some of this in my lifetime.
    Having my Daddy home with us and giving his time and baking cookies for us was so much fun. I have some very great memories of my childhood with good parents.

  9. He gave his children the greatest gifts any father could give – his love and his time. Joseph F. Smith worked at the Church tithing office from 6 am until 11 pm each day, for which he received three dollars per day in tithing pay. This meant he could go to the tithing store and exchange his pay for flour or meat or molasses. At least the family had food. By this in his life he was the father with young children. He could have taken the money was working with and hope no one would notice, but he was an honest man.

  10. He expressed gratitude for his most important gifts, family.

  11. I again have to admire George Albert Smith a man after my own heart. I have always felt that you can not buy love it has to be earned. He was a hands on hands father and gave his children the love that made them feel secure and humble.

  12. Joseph F. Smith was able to give his children his time and love, a gift that is greater than any monetary gift.

  13. It seems like in today’s world those most important gifts of love and time take second place to material gifts. I appreciate this sweet reminder of what is most important and most lasting!

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