What kind of man was Joseph F. Smith?
As a missionary, barely sixteen years old, he served in Hawaii, three thousand miles from home and unable to speak the Hawaiian language. He was so poor that he and his companion had to take turns attending Church meetings because they had only one suit of clothes between them.
As a General Authority, he helped guide the Church during the troubled time following the Manifesto. During this time he received and recorded the Vision of the Redemption of the Dead and delivered hundreds of sermons. As a father and husband, he was loving and devoted. He often exhorted his children to excellence in character, dress, vocabulary, and gospel living.
His teachings to his family are nowhere more personal and pointed than in his letters to his twelve missionary sons. Drawing on a lifetime of missionary service, he instructed them in doctrine, character development, living the gospel, personal relations, and missionary work.
Excerpts from hundreds of these letters have been compiled in this book. They will be especially helpful to those engaged in missionary work, to parents who desire to teach their children the principles of the gospel, and to all who are striving to improve their lives. In addition, they reveal in great detail the fascinating character of a prophet of God. [via]