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Pioneer Children Acting Out

When Saints from New York gathered to Ohio in 1831, one of their first problems was learning how to manage so many excited children on a journey together. While riding down the Erie Canal, Lucy Mack Smith became worried that a child would get careless about low bridges and bruise its head or drown. “I then got the children together around me and said ‘Now, mark what I say to you. When I come up the stairs and raise my hand, you must every one of you run to me as fast as you can.’” The races got their attention and gave her a way to gather them when things got rowdy or dangerous. Thanks to making obedience fun, Lucy said, the children “never failed to do just as I told, not only in that but every thing else while I was with them.”


Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845,” book 11, pages 4–5, josephsmithpapers.org; punctuation modernized