Only Known Photo of Mormon Founder Joseph Smith Found in Locket

Only Known Photo of Mormon Founder Joseph Smith Found in Locket
Dan Larsen

A photograph of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint motion, has been learned in a locket belonging to his fantastic-terrific-grandson. It is the only identified photograph that exists of the American prophet.

The daguerreotype graphic of Joseph Smith was taken in 1844 but only discovered in 2020. Smith’s descendant Dan Larsen, 79, has expended the past two many years verifying the graphic that he found in a pocket view that bears the initials of his good-grandfather Joseph Smith III, the leader’s oldest son.

Larsen learned the impression during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the lockdown producing him to form as a result of previous boxes of loved ones artifacts. He inherited the locket in 1992, but its finial was bent building it not possible to open it, so he stored it away for safekeeping.

“I was a minimal hesitant about prying the locket open,” Larsen tells Faith Information Provider.

Larsen was equipped to wrest it open up and was shocked to see a photo of a gentleman staring back again at him.

“In my head, there was no question who it was,” Larsen states.

Joseph Smith
Dan Larsen

So followed an exhaustive 18 months of study and examination. Larsen assembled a workforce of professionals to validate the picture of Smith, like employing facial recognition specialists to look at the daguerreotype to Smith’s dying mask. The enterprise claimed again that 19 of 21 measured functions matched, in a 95 percent self-confidence interval.

A well known oil painting made of Smith in 1842 was also analyzed in a bid to substantiate the graphic. The professionals concluded that Smith’s hairline and other functions have been a match and that both visuals present the identical “distinctive frown line near the still left eyebrow.”

comparison of painting to picture
Dan Larsen

Historians had very long considered that this sort of a photographic portrait of Smith existed primarily based on promises numerous kinfolk had built. Thankfully, the graphic is nonetheless in excellent ailment right after staying protected from light thanks to remaining locked inside of the pocket watch for a long time.

Larsen tells the Salt Lake Tribune that getting the photograph was a “spiritual” practical experience. “I looked at it for an hour or so with my spouse. It was an emotional minute,” he suggests.

“I understood Joseph was with me, I felt his spirit. I noticed him.”


Image credits: All photographs by Dan Larsen.

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