My life has been a whirlwind, the past 12 months. I explain a lot on my pages about my journey, but I TRY, HARD to keep it concise, but in here I will get spiritual and very, very detailed... There are too many things that have been mind blowingly awesome...
I felt strongly inspired, recently to analyze Joseph Smith's drawings by Sutcliffe Maudsley. I was fascinated by the wrinkles around his eyes, and his eyebrows. I chuckled when I saw how similarly shaped one drawing showed Joseph's brows to me- to my 1840s Illinois Man's. (a young guy from the Church History Department had argued about how he was sure Joseph Smith had "round" curved eyebrows, like Maudsley's drawing).
Short story, when I bought my photograph, last October, I scanned it and did my outlining of his facial wrinkles and dropped that onto the Dibble death mask and just... gasped and called the LDS Church History Dept. Yes, I am Mormon, no I am not from Utah. A sweet woman answered and I told her that I have a photograph of Joseph Smith. Point blank. I could hear her silence as she told me that I could "donate" any images of past prophets and gave me an address... I asked if I could talk to someone, I wasn't too keen on just mailing this relic over like that, so she gave me a link that guaranteed that I would for sure be responded to in a matter of days (it'd been months since I'd emailed the Church History Department, in the summertime, before I owned it and heard nothing at all).
I get an email and start corresponding with a YOUNG guy, while the same day I suddenly hear back from another person in the Church History Department (a little more higher up than him).
The First email, someone from the inner workings of the department brushed it off quickly with this statement that since it was a CDV it just couldn't be Joseph Smith and talks about how he really thinks that the Scannel Daguerreotype is him... I email back that I DID research Carte Vista's, albumen prints and salt water paper prints that that use of negatives with PAPER prints were very well developed by 1844... I hear nothing back from him.
I remember sitting down and feeling really crummy and disappointed and the thought came to me STRONGLY over and over,
"Google Emma Smith's photograph! Debi! Look at Emma's Photograph!!!"
I felt that I needed to research Emma Smith's photograph, which was 1845 per all accounts, and well, I found one showing the exact same style CDV... and that her photograph was reprinted. Whoa. I emailed that guy again... No response.
Suddenly that night, same day, a younger guy starts harshly responding to me, I carefully read and respond to his words. He brought up interesting me points, making me do more research and to find things that supported my point.
Some of his points were a lot of FUN to research, like the clothing (I had researched his clothing and found that Abraham Lincoln really had almost the exact same clothes when he was photographed in the mid 1840s, I'd worked hard on a video about this), which is why this past two weeks have been pretty exciting, he brought up Maudsley's drawings and paintings, which made me not care for those drawings for a long while, they were so badly done in many respects, but... not THAT bad... The guy argued mostly about collars being popped up still in the 1840s, I sent him images of Abraham Lincoln in that decade and was ignored, then he argued about his hair NOT being brushed forward how Joseph Smith was hiding a bald spot that so and so in the 1800s said was why he brushed his hair forward, I say- well- he DOES brush his hair forward and has less hair on one side of his face... nothing. THEN the guy argues about the vest of Joseph Smith, stating that it looks plaid, and how plaid didn't exist...
Before all of these email conversations started, I already knew that his vest wasn't plaid, I'd had a moment where a strong impression came to me, just a few days prior,
"Debi, look up Joseph Smith's vest!..."
Okay. Whoa... www.lds.org/ensign/1984/01/from-the-prophets-life-a-photo-essay?lang=eng
I honestly think that I found this website after I stopped talking to the kid who didn't want to see anything good and ignored things that blatantly there in my image, he was too negative... He argued about the ears, Joseph Smith couldn't have had protruding ears and he was sure that my guy had attached earlobes (which I concluded then and now he does not); but I was VERY happy to see that in fact my guy's vest matched! There were some cross striations but both my 1840s guy's vest and the one shown in the Ensign article were mostly striped and both had a sheen to it, I already had answers to almost all of their negative arguments BEFORE they threw them at me, I was PREPARED but the kid just wouldn't listen to me... at all... It was sad, but I didn't feel offended because this isn't about ME being right, but about this being a real photograph of Joseph Smith and I had had spiritual experiences enough to KNOW that it is that guy!
Abraham Lincoln, a man living in Illinois in the 1840s, his clothing styles helped me prove that my guy is wearing 1840s clothes, so that when I just stopped talking to the young guy in the Church History Department. They were too close minded and prideful that they were basically blind...
Around December I had given up on the LDS Church History department, started my website here, and began having this STRONG impression,
"Debi, look at the Lapel..."
I HONESTLY didn't know what a lapel was!... I was disappointed when most of Maudsley's drawings showed a very weird double notch... now I conclude that was his "blue jacket"- that "ladies" apparently liked hehe. But he had others, I heard about a grey one... but the drawing on the left of my image shows TWO things, a notched lapel, and a lapel with a darker upper. It took me two bouts of Shingles and feeling like I was going to die from nerve pain and torture since December, to find it. I knew that David Hyrum once wore a similar looking jacket/lapel as my 1840s Illinois man... but once I found this lithograph of Maudsley's drawing (whose first drawings showed up in an 1840 Book of Mormon...). He knew the prophet well and that drawing implies that my image, which I am sure if Joseph Smith, was his jacket he wore just before he died. He probably wore out that blue one...
Debra A. Hatfield
I grew up in Oregon, went to college in Utah and Idaho. Since college I have obtained a B.S. degree in University Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho (2005), went to Beauty School ;P, then went back to school again over the course of many years, taking night classes, and finished an A.S. in Exective Medical Assisting from LDS Business College.