“More Than Any Man Has Ever Done”
Julia Smith’s search for the meaning of God’s word
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It was the end of 1842, and Julia Smith expected the end of the world. A believer in the apocalyptic prophecies of the Baptist preacher William Miller, Smith had allowed the plants in the conservatory of her Connecticut home to go unwatered and die. She had even prepared her Ascension robe, to be worn at the Second Coming.
“I read the Bible almost all day,” she wrote in her diary on December 31, 1842. “I have eaten nothing since yesterday noon. It is the last day of the year 1842, which according to Mr. Miller could be the last year of the world.”1

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