Joseph Smith was born December 23, 1805, in Sharon Vermont. His mother, Lucy Mack Smith was 30 years old. His dad, Joseph Smith Sr, was 34. It was Lucy’s fifth pregnancy, and fourth child.
I’ve read many books about Joseph Smith; the most recent was Richard Bushman’s book, “Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling“. The title aptly describes his life — Joseph said,

“I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else…” (History of The Church 5:401)

You could say that about all of us. Our difficulties shape our life.
I was drawn to this sentence in Rough Stone Rolling — “for Joseph, the Bible was a gate, not a fence…”
There is much to learn. I embrace truth, wherever it’s found and I’m not restricted to one book and one small period of this earth’s time. After all, if God revealed knowledge during Christ’s time on earth and during the earlier times with prophets, such as Moses and Abraham, why not now and forever?
I read and I learn new things. I guess that’s one reason I enjoy Hugh Nibley, as he opens the gate for me.

We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. (Articles of Faith)

I’m grateful for the work of Joseph Smith, and I will be numbered among those who have good to say about him. Moroni told Joseph that his

“name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.”(History of Joseph Smith)

 Joseph’s birthplace in Sharon, Vermont (Image:Utah Historical Society, photo by Ed. Anderson):
Joseph Smith Birthplace Monument: granite monument stands 38 1/2 feet tall, one foot for every year of the Prophet’s life. 
 Palmyra, New York where Joseph lived with his family in 1820:
Smith Family Home (frame home restored):
Earlier photo of Manchester, New York:
Photographic copy of a Daguerreotype submitted to the Library of Congress in 1879 by his son, Joseph Smith III, the original daguerreotype has not been found. (source)
More information: The Joseph Smith Papers