Clarissa Lyman




Clarissa and John (brother of Joseph Smith Sr.) settled in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York, where their children were born and where they first heard from John's brother joseph Smith, Sr. of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.  Clarissa, endowed with great faith and spirituality, followed her strong convictions with courage and became the first of the Smith Family to be baptized.  It happened that her mother, Philomela Loomis Lyman, was visiting with her at the time.  Her husband John Smith followed her into the waters of baptism four months later.

Because of their ardent testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel they soon sold their holdings in Potsdam and removed to Kirtland, Ohio, to gather with the Saints.  Clarissa made homes in the places the Saints were called upon to move to, from Ohio to Missouri with all its attendant heartaches and devastation, and then on to Nauvoo.  Shee took care of her family and provided for them while her husband filled several missions; she experienced repeatedly losing what few possessions they had due to mobbings and persecution, and she endured traveling long distances with scant comforts, but she continued faithful and patient and generous. 

When the Saints were once again mobbed from their comfortable homes in Nauvoo, Clarissa and John made their way west to the Salt Lake Valley among its earliest settlers, arriving on the 24th of September, 1847 with the Daniel Spencer company.  Within a month of their arrival John was called upon the serve as the stake president in the Salt Lake Valley, which meant, of course, that Clarissa served alongside as his wife and companion.  Upon their arrival to the valley they discovered that the cabin that their son George A. was to build for them had not had the roof yet put in place, but that was soon attended to, and again she made a comfortable home in the new land to which they had been called.


Desert News paid her this tribute at her passing:  "She was a firm believer in the influence of the everlasting Gospel.  She possessed a heart full of benevolence and kindness to all; she bore her long and severe illness without murmur or complaint."  Clarissa Lyman Smith passed away on February 14, 1854 in Salt Lake City, Utah and John followed her 3 months later on May 23, 1854.




    History by LaRue Pits



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