Question: Why does Joseph Smith claim that his family was "proselyted to the Presbyterian faith" in 1820?

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Question: Why does Joseph Smith claim that his family was "proselyted to the Presbyterian faith" in 1820?

Lucy's family was suspended from fellowship in the Presbyterian church in March 1830 after 18 months of inactivity

Critics use this fact to support the claim that Lucy and her children did not join the Presbyterian church until at least 1823 after Alvin's death. This would contradict Joseph's claim that his family joined the Presbyterians in 1820.

However, Lucy Mack Smith was actually baptized before 1820, and was looking for comfort in religion after Alvin's death

Joseph wrote,

I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My father’s family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that church, namely, my mother, Lucy; my brothers Hyrum and Samuel Harrison; and my sister Sophronia.

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Lucy notes: "About this time there was a great revival in religion and the whole neighborhood was very much aroused to the subject and we among the rest flocked to the meetinghouse to see if there was a word of comfort for us that might relieve our overcharged feelings." However, Lucy Mack Smith was baptized before 1820. Lucy does not say that she joined the Presbyterians at that time. The "revival" mentioned by Lucy occurs one year prior to the 1824 revival.

For a detailed response, see: Lucy Mack Smith and the Presbyterians

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