John W. Hess recalls seeing Joseph studying Greek.

John W. Hess

"Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith," Juvenile Instructor 27, no. 10 (May 15, 1892): 302–303

Juvenile Instructor
Hyrum Smith, John W. Hess, Joseph Smith, Jr., William Smith
Reading Public

Elder John W. Hess, one of the presidency of the Davis Stake of Zion, and who resides at Farmington, Davis County, Utah, was born on the 24th of August, 1824, and was baptized into the Church in March, 1834. The following is a statement he makes of some incidents he recollects of the Prophet Joseph:

"In the autumn of 1838 my father lived in Ray County, Missouri, near the Richmond Landing. Joseph the Prophet, in company with his brothers Hyrum and William and eleven others whose names I do not remember, had been up to Caldwell County to lay out the city of Far West. When they got to the Missouri River on their return to Kirtland, they found that the boats did not run on regular time on account of the river being low, and as they were compelled to wait for a steamer, they came to my father’s house near the landing and stayed there thirteen days. Father was the only Mormon in that part of the country.

"At that time Joseph was studying Greek and Latin, and when he got tired studying he would go and play with the children in their games about the house, to give himself exercise. Then he would go back to his studies as before. I was a boy then about fourteen years old. He used to take me up on his knee and caress me as he would a little child.

"I relate this to show the kindness and simplicity of his nature. I never saw another man like Joseph. There was something heavenly and angelic in his looks that I never witnessed in the countenance of any other person. During his short stay I became very much attached to him, and learned to love him more dearly than any other person I ever met, my father and mother not excepted.

"The next time I saw the Prophet was at the Richmond courthouse, in chains, after the surrender of the city of Far West. I used to walk six miles every day to see him during his stay in Richmond Jail. Although a boy of about fourteen years, I became convinced beyond doubt that he was a Prophet of God, and that testimony has never left me."

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