Virtual Go to the Grove 5K

For health and safety concerns we are making the 5K a virtual race. This new format is actually more fitting with the goal of “Go to the Grove” because we are celebrating the world-changing event that Joseph Smith made 200 years ago. He went to the grove by himself to ask a question. The answer has changed the world.

Each reunion year we are excited to do a service project that will help and improve the world we live in and have Joseph’s name known for good. This year, our project reflects our theme of the 2020 Vision Celebration. In honor of the miraculous event 200 years ago, we have chosen to donate to Vision Care. This organization helps “volunteer ophthalmologists assist medical care providers around the world with training and equipment to treat simple vision problems.” The Go to the Grove Virtual 5K raises funds that the Smith Family will donate to honor the good that began with Joseph Smith’s First Vision.

  • Register as soon as possible, May 2 is the deadline to be part of the order. (http://gotothegrove.com/)
  • You will receive a t-shirt and a collector’s medal in the mail.
  • Run or walk a 5K whenever and wherever you can before October 2020.
  • Get someone to take a picture of you running or do a 5K selfie.
  • Record and report your time if you would like a chance at winning a prize.

Smith Family Monument & Plaza Dedication

Topsfield, MA – June 20, 2020


Topsfield Cemetery Smith Monument during a visit of Joseph F. Smith and family members
December 25, 1905
This monument was erected in memory of Robert Smith and also 1st and 2nd Samuel
By George A. Smith and other descendants in Utah

A new Smith monument and plaza is underway in Topsfield, Massachusetts. This unique and large endeavor at the Pine Grove Cemetery will include a monument similar to the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial in Sharon, Vermont.


Congregational Church in Topsfield, Massachusetts – Photos by Michael Nebeker

The monument has been developed by the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation through the Chair, Kim Wilson. This 2020 project celebrates the 200th anniversary year of the First Vision and the 400th anniversary year of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock. The Smith Family Monument and plaza is a tribute to the Smith family who immigrated to Topsfield, Massachusetts. Five generations of Smith descents cherished the American dream and raised their families in the Topsfield community. They were actively involved in the Congregational Church and the community.

On the left: Joseph F. Smith visit to Robert Smith Home, 1905. On the right: Joseph F. Smith’s visit to home of Samuel Smith in Topsfield, MA.

President M. Russell Ballard is excited about the project and he is planning to perform the dedication. The dedication will take place on Saturday, June 20th, 2020 at the Topsfield Fairgrounds Arena. It is an exciting time for descendants of Robert Smith, the first Smith to immigrate to this country, to come together and to celebrate and learn an amazing part of the Smith family history. Space at the dedication will be limited.

If you would like to participate please click this link.


Partially installed granite sections – Photos by Rick Cochran

The construction of the site has begun. Like the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial, Vermont granite is being used. The Topsfield Cemetery Commission approved a large plaza area encompassed by granite curbing, granite corner posts, the middle granite posts, four granite benches and decorative chain cordoning-off the plaza area. The new monument and the existing marker will be inside the curbed area with a long 300-foot handicapped accessible pathway from the parking area directly to the Smith Family Monument.

The approval of the project included a stipulation that the site work would begin in 2019. The polished granite memorial is expected to be installed by late March of 2020.


This photo was taken at the edge of the parking area looking towards the new Smith plaza and monument – Photo by Rick Cochran

Architectural rendering of the Smith Family Memorial

Mormon Historic Sites Foundation has asked that the family contribute toward the memorial. This is honoring the Smith family and we feel we should support it by contributing what you are able by pressing the green donate button and giving what you can.

This is a wonderful gift in honor of the Prophet’s birthday! It is exactly 214 years from his birth – Monday, December 23, 1805.

Show Support

Assassin shoots at young Joseph but hits the family cow

History of Joseph Smith by His Mother Lucy Mack Smith, p. 67-68

At the age of fourteen an incident occurred which alarmed us much, as we knew not the cause of it. Joseph being a remarkably quiet, well-disposed child, we did not suspect that any one had aught against him. He was out one evening on an errand, and, on returning home, as he was passing through the dooryard, a gun was fired across his pathway with the evident intention of shooting him. He sprang to the door much frightened. We immediately went in search of the assassin, but could find no trace of him that evening. The next morning we found his tracks under a wagon where he lay when he fired, and the following day we found the balls which were discharged from the gun, lodged in the head and neck of a cow that was standing opposite the wagon in a dark corner. We have not as yet discovered the man who made this attempt at murder, neither can we discover the cause thereof.

Joseph Smith, Jr. wrestles a man

Young Joseph by Ivan J. Barrett p. xiii-xiv

One day, when Joseph Smith, Jr. was about fifteen years of age, he and Porter Rockwell, who was eight, set out on an errand for Joseph’s father. Walking along the Canadaigua Road, they neared a small log shack. Suddenly they heard the crises and pleadings of a woman’s voice accompanied by the sharp resounding of a lash on human flesh. Joseph, with Porter at his heels, sped to the back of the log cabin. There they saw a brutal husband beating his wife with a leather strap. Bruised and bleeding, she sobbingly pled for mercy. Joseph, sickened at the sight of this heartless cruelty, rushed upon the brutal fellow, and grabbing him by the collar, snatched the leather strap from his hand. Joseph raised his fist and laid a sledge hammer blow on the whiskered jaw of the wife beater. The impact of Joseph’s slug sent the fellow sprawling on his back against a wood pile. He staggered to his feet, shaking his head and holding his jaw he gasped, “Who hit me?”

Seeing a fifteen-year-old boy standing there ready for action maddened the man beyond control and with an oath, he rushed towards Joseph muttering, “I’ll kill this lad.” But the agile youth was ready, and quickly springing to the side, he whanged the wife beater a blow on the back of the neck that sent him face down in the dirt. As the fellow rose to his knees, he grabbed for Joseph and caught his trousers, whirling the boy around. From that moment on, the fight was nip and tuck. When it seemed as though Joseph would have to give up, he remembered that this man had whipped his wife and that gave him courage. Watching from an opening in the man’s guard, he punched a powerful blow to his stomach with a left fist and with a splintering right on the jaw, felled the man, three times his age and almost twice his size. Battered and beaten by the youthful Joseph, the man said he’d had enough.

Twenty-three years after this in his remarks to the workmen on the Nauvoo Temple, Joseph alluded to this boyhood experience. “The finishing of the Nauvoo House is like a man finishing a fight; if he gives up he is killed; if he holds out a little longer, he may live. I’ll tell you a story: A man who whips his wife is a coward. When I was a boy, once fought with a man who had whipped his wife. It was a hard contest; but I still remembered that he had whipped his wife; and this encouraged me, and I whipped him til he said he had enough.” (History of the Church, 7 Vols., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978, 5:285.)

2018 Salt Lake City Memories

2018 Family Photo by Lindsey Orton at the Mary Fielding Smith Home at This Is The Place Heritage Park

Reunion Links

2018 Smith Reunion Final Program

2018 Online Reunion Final

Thursday, August 2 – Registration – Meet and Greet

Thursday Recaps

Gilda Sundeen Letter

Friday, August 3 – Scholarship Presentation and

In Emma’s Footsteps Movie

Friday Morning Recaps

Friday Dinner Photo Memories

Friday – Smith Family Devotional

Saturday, August 4 – Service Project and Devotional

Saturday Service Project

Log Cabin Experience

Saturday Picnic Lunch

Saturday – Smith Family Devotional

Sunday, August 5 – Music and the Spoken Word

Sunday – Music and the Spoken Word