Amanda Barnes Smith was born in Beckett Massachusetts on February 22, 1809 to Ezekiel and Fanny Johnson Barnes. Although her mother was Presbyterian her father was not very religious. In Amanda’s youth, her family moved to Ohio where she would marry Warren Smith and have five children. In 1831, LDS missionaries came and taught Amanda and she was baptized in the spring of that year. Amanda Smith and her husband moved to Kirtland, Ohio and helped build the temple. During their time in Missouri they were victims of the Hawn’s Hill Massacre; while Amanda survived her husband and ten year old son did not. In 1839, she remarried another Warren Smith who was a blacksmith, and travelled to Utah. In Utah, Smith helped to organize the Relief Society and served as President of the Relief Society in the SLC 12th Ward. In 1886, Amanda Barnes Smith passed away while visiting her daughter in Richmond, Utah.
This is a typed manuscript approximately 125 pages long. The first half of the manuscript details Amanda’s Relief Society duties, and so contains meeting notes and records from Relief Society functions. The second half is an autobiography that contains personal letters and accounts that have been transcribed. Amanda gives personal insights into her daily life and relationship with her family. In one account Amanda explains how she took to her father as a child, which created a rift in her relationship with her mother. The manuscript explains that at a young age she moved to Ohio, where she was taught about the Cambellite religion. Then in 1831, she was baptized into the LDS faith. Her love for her children is shown though her stories of sacrifice to give them a better life. She and her husband helped begin the Kirtland Bank and work on the Kirtland Temple. She offers a lengthy personal account of the Hawn’s Mill incident that gives great detail to a dark spot of Church History. Despite her hardship, Smith closes with her personal testimony of Jesus Christ. In a touching account, she explains how she was able to heal her son’s hip after being shot. In 1839, she was married a second Warren Smith who was a blacksmith. While she loved her husband, their marriage began to struggle due to an extramarital affair and abuse by Warren. They would later be divorced, but her trials never created a lack of faith or courage in Amanda. This manuscript gives insight into the struggles faced by pioneers during their journey west and magnifies their incredible faith in Jesus Christ.