Smith Family Memorial, Topsfield, Massachusetts
The Smith Family Memorial, Topsfield, MA on the day it was installed in the Pine Grove Cemetery. Photo (2020) by Kenneth Mays.
Video: Smith Family Memorial Dedication 2022
Video: President Ballard reflects on Joseph Smith’s ancestors in Topsfield, their ‘unwavering faith’
Events Associated with the Monument's Dedication, May 13-14, 2022
Following a delay of more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the time finally arrived for several events connected to the formal dedication of the Smith Family Memorial. The key figure in these events was President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On Friday, May 13, 2022 President Ballard attended a banquet which included a short program of music and various acknowledgements of individuals whose cooperation on the monument’s approval, design and installation was both needed and appreciated. One particularly interesting activity was having those in attendance utilize the FamilySearch app to see who in the audience was related to whom.
On the following day, May 14, 2022, President Ballard formally dedicated the Smith Family Memorial before a group assembled near the monument in the Pine Grove Cemetery in Topsfield. No logistical detail was spared, making the event flow seamlessly. Several speakers proceeded President Ballard and his prayer of dedication. These included Anne Barret, President, Topsfield Historical Society; Heidi Swinton, board member of the Ensign Peak Foundation; and Elder LeGrand R. Curtis, First Quorum of the Seventy, Church Historian and Recorder, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Several musical numbers were performed during the program.
Following the prayer of dedication, President Ballard returned to the pulpit and invited Kim Wilson, Chairman of the Ensign Peak Foundation, to join him. At that point, President Ballard asked those in attendance to join him in expressing appreciation to Kim for his leading role in making this project come to pass: raising funds and directing a committee to design the nearly seven-ton monument and provide the wording thereon. He worked with local officials and tended to every logistical detail needed to bring this project to its successful completion. This expression of gratitude was not part of the prepared program, but a spontaneous and thoughtful action by President Ballard–a memorable moment for all who were there.
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