Descendants of Samuel H. Smith - the first missionary of the Church - have donated $1,500 to continue the work begun by their ancestor of sharing the Book of Mormon with nonmembers.

The Samuel H. Smith Family Orfanization has donated photos, testimonies and the money to purchase 1,000 copies of the Book of Mormon through the Missionary Department's Family-to-Family Book of Mormon program.In 1830, during Samuel Smith's missionary journey, a copy of the book of Mormon was first given to a widow, and then to John P. Greene. That copy was instrumental in the conversion of Greene; Brigham Young, second president of the Church; several other members of the Young family; and Heber C. Kimball, who served in the First Presidency.

Now, the Smith family wants to continue that missionary effort, said Gregory J. Giffiths, a great-great-grandson and president of the family organization.

"We understand that we are the first family organization to participate in this great program, and this seems appropriate, as Samuel was the first missionary," he said.

Griffiths said the family responded to the Book of Mormon program because of their ancestor, and because of President Ezra Taft Benson's encouragement.