Alvin Smith Grave Site, Palmyra, New York

Alvin's Gravestone


Alvin Smith, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s oldest brother died unexpectedly while building a nice frame home for his parents and family and was buried in the Jonathan Swift Memorial Cemetery in Palmyra, New York. Alvin had shown great interest in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. In 1836 Joseph saw Alvin in a vision of the Celestial Kingdom and marveled that he had inherited that reward without being baptized in mortality. That vision became a foundation of understanding salvation for millions that die without receiving the gospel in mortality.

Video Transcript

Additional Media

Alvin Smith Grave. Intellectual Reserve.

Alvin Smith Grave. Intellectual Reserve.

Cemetery of young Alvin Smith. Intellectual Reserve.

Site of John Swift property.


• Lucy recorded that Alvin was engaged to be married at the time of his death. The young lady never did marry as far as we know, but pined away in Alvin’s memory saying that she would never find another like Alvin. Joseph wrote that he was sure that her youthful heart would break when Alvin died. Larry Porter once appropriately described Alvin as a “quiet giant.”

• Alvin’s body was reportedly exhumed and dissected. Father Smith went to the grave with witnesses in order to ascertain that the rumor was unfounded and then had a notice that such was the case published in the local newspaper. (Wayne Sentinel 2 (29 Sept. 1824): 3; Lucy Mack Smith, (ed. Proctor), 123.)