Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
“To Seal the Testimony”
The Prophet Joseph Smith sealed his testimony with his blood.
The Prophet Joseph Smith did more for the salvation of men in this world
than anyone except Jesus.
A study of this lesson will teach us about the martyrdom of the Prophet
Joseph Smith and strengthen our testimonies of his calling as a prophet of God.
Scripture references for study:
Our Heritage,pages 62–66
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 32 Handout (PDF)
Like A Lamb To The Slaughter
Events leading up to Joseph's final months in Nauvoo.
1842: John C. Bennett left the church and published an expose' of
the Mormon marriage system calling it an excuse for licentiousness.
1843: The Prophet accused Sidney Rigdon of being in conspiracy with
Bennett. Rigdon replied by denying any connection with Bennett or
any plots against the Prophet. He failed to convince Joseph of his innocence,
but was not dropped from the Church.
Mid-June 1844: Rigdon moved to Pittsburgh to raise up a branch of the Church.
Voting - due to the fairly equal size of the Whig and Democratic parties
in Illinois, the Mormon voting block was sufficient to swing statewide
The Mormon vote was responsible for putting Stephen A Douglas into Congress
and Thomas Ford into the governor's office.
After Whig defeats in 1843, difficulties began again for the Saints. An anti-Mormon meeting was convened in Carthage to protest the Mormons
holding public office. There was also a beginning of acts of violence
against the Saints living a distance from Nauvoo.
There were rumors that the Missourians intended to take action against
the Saints. The Prophet kept Governor Ford informed of the acts of
violence against the Saints, especially the threats of invasion, and offered
the service of the Nauvoo Legion in repelling such an invasion.
Governor Ford refused to believe Joseph's information or to take any action. An appeal was also made to Congress requesting protection for the city
1844: Joseph Smith for President.
The Prophet wrote the major candidates for President, including Henry Clay
and John C. Calhoun, asking about their policy regarding the redress of
wrongs for the Missouri Saints. The answers that came back
On January 31, 1844, the Prophet announced his candidacy for President
of the United States on the grounds that the Saints' religious and civil
rights as American citizens had been denied, and no portion of the government
had stepped forward to their relief. 337 missionaries were appointed,
including the Twelve, and assigned to the 36 existing states. They were
instructed to preach truth and righteousness and present before the people
"General Smith's views of the powers and policy of the general government
and seek diligently to get up electors who would go for him for the Presidency"
The Prophet's platform:
His platform centered on national reform and getting back to the basic
principles of the founding fathers.
Reduce Congress and their pay. "Pay them
two dollars a day and their board per diem (except Sundays). That
is more than the farmer gets, and he lives honestly." (HC, 6:204-205)
The Prophet advocated prison reform. He wanted to turn the penitentiaries
into seminaries for learning. "Rigor and seclusion
will never do as much to reform propensities of men as reason and friendship."
Slavery: The government should purchase the slaves from their owners
using money from the reduction of Congressional wages and the sale of public
lands and then set them free.
He foresaw the need for a federal reserve banking system and suggested
that the profits be used to reduce the national debt.
He would also strive to give every man his constitutional freedom and the
president full power to send an army to suppress mobs. He argued
that the Constitution should contain a "provision
that every officer of the government who should refuse to extend the protection
guaranteed in the Constitution should be subject to capital punishment."
He recommended that the Oregon territory be occupied, but the consent of
the Indians should first be obtained. He was for Texas being given
statehood, if it should so petition and also welcome Canada and Mexico.
For additional information see
Joseph Smith: Campaign for President of the United States at LDS.org.
A Conspiracy Against The Prophet.
December 1843: Because of threats from Missouri, Joseph Smith
(as mayor) increased the police force of Nauvoo.
In an address to them he stated: "My life
is more in danger from some little dough-head of a fool in this city than
from all my numerous and inveterate enemies abroad. I am exposed to far
greater danger from traitors among ourselves than from enemies without,
although my life has been sought for many years by the civil and military
authorities, priests, and people of Missouri; and if I can escape from
the ungrateful treachery of assassins, I can live as Caesar might have
lived, were it not for a right-hand Brutus." (HC, 6:152)
Among those who took exception with the Prophet were William Law (Second
Counselor in the First Presidency), Wilson Law (a major general in the
Nauvoo Legion), and William Marks (president of the Nauvoo Stake). They expressed fear that the increased force had been organized to secretly
put them away.
The Prophet stated: "What can be the matter
with these men? Is it that the wicked flee when no man pursueth, that hit
pigeons always flutter, that drowning men catch at straws, or that Presidents
Law and Marks are absolutely traitors to the Church, that my remarks should
produce such an excitement." (HC, 6:170)
The Law brothers and several others were involved in a conspiracy against
the Prophet. Two boys were invited to attend one of their meetings. They attended and reported their findings to the Prophet. In April
the Law brothers and the other conspirators were excommunicated
from the Church.
William Law appeared before the grand jury in Carthage and swore that Joseph
was guilty of polygamy and adultery. The Prophet was subsequently
indicted. On May 27, 1844, the Prophet rode to Carthage to
have the indictment investigated. Law and the others intended to
kill the Prophet, but the opportunity did not present itself.
The Nauvoo Expositor: This newspaper was published by the conspirators. It advocated repeal of the Nauvoo Charter and promised to expose the abuses
of power exercised under the charter.
June 7: The one and only issue of the Expositor was issued
charging Joseph Smith with practicing spiritual wifery, indulging in whoredoms,
abusing political power, teaching the plurality of gods, and claiming power
to seal men up to eternal life. Church leaders were accused of controlling
politics, and the Prophet was branded as a base seducer, a liar, and a
murderer. (Studies In Scripture, 1:537)
June 10: The Nauvoo city council met and declared the paper
a nuisance and ordered the mayor to "cause said printing establishment
and papers to be removed without delay...." (HC, 6:448)
City Marshall John P. Greene and a posse, along with hundreds of citizens,
went to the paper where the press, type, printed matter and fixtures were
removed to the street and destroyed.
The publishers fled to Carthage and swore out a warrant for the arrest
of the Prophet on the charge of riot.
This was the straw that broke the camel's back. Several papers voiced
their protest. The Warsaw Signal stated: "We
have only to state that this is sufficient! War and extermination is inevitable!
Citizens, Arise, One and All!!! Can you stand by and suffer such Infernal
Devils! to rob men of their property and rights, without avenging them?
We have no time to comment: every man will make his own. Let it be made
with powder and ball!!!" (CHC, 2:236)
June 12: Joseph and seventeen others were arrested by Constable
Bettisworth of Carthage. The Prophet stated that he would appear
before the court in Nauvoo where he was discharged.
June 14: Joseph wrote Governor Ford detailing the situation. Governor Ford responded by warning all citizens of Hancock County that
he would interfere against aggressors.
Over the next few days tensions increased, threats were made, rumors flew.
Nauvoo was put under martial law.
All roads into town were guarded.
The Nauvoo Legion was brought to full strength.
All mail was cut off from Nauvoo by the mob.
Like A Lamb To The Slaughter.
June 20: The Prophet urged Hyrum to take his family and leave
on the next steamboat for Cincinnati, which Hyrum refused to do.
The Prophet stated: "I told Stephen Markham
that if I and Hyrum were ever taken again we should be massacred, or I
was not a Prophet of God. I want Hyrum to live to avenge my blood,
but he is not to leave me." (HC, 6:546)
"Concerning the statement in the text about the
Prophet's desire to have Hyrum live, and the purpose of it, Mr. Edward
Tullidge, in his Life of Joseph the Prophet, gives a different version
of it. He states it: 'I want Hyrum to live to lead the Church, but he is
determined not to leave me' (Tullidge, p. 491). On what authority Mr. Tullidge
makes the change is not known; but there is evidence in addition to his
statement that the Prophet did desire Hyrum Smith to succeed him in the
presidency of the Church, and even 'ordained' him to take that place. At
the October conference following the martyrdom of the two brothers, President
Brigham Young said: 'Did Joseph ordain any man to take his place? He did.
Who was it? It was Hyrum. But Hyrum fell a martyr before Joseph did' (Times
and Seasons Vol. 5, page 683)'." (HC, 6: Chapter 28 Footnotes)
June 21: Governor Ford arrives in Carthage to assess the situation.
June 22: John Taylor and John Bernhisel were granted an interview
with the Governor. Things were made difficult by the presence of
the apostates, including the Law brothers. They were unable to make
headway with the governor and returned to Nauvoo where they reported to
Joseph, Hyrum, and Willard Richards.
"About 9 p.m. Hyrum came out of the Mansion and
gave his hand to Reynolds Cahoon, at the same time saying, 'A company of
men are seeking to kill my brother Joseph, and the Lord has warned him
to flee to the Rocky Mountains to save his life. Goodbye, Brother Cahoon,
we shall see you again.' In a few minutes afterwards Joseph came from his
family. His tears were flowing fast. Be held a handkerchief to his face,
and followed after Brother Hyrum without uttering a word." (HC,
June 23: Porter Rockwell took Hyrum, Joseph, and Willard Richards
across the Mississippi to Montrose, Iowa, where they stayed with William
Jordan and began preparations to flee to the West.
They started across the river at about 2:00 AM. Porter rowed while
Joseph, Hyrum, and Willard baled the water from the leaky boat with their
boots and shoes.
Joseph had earlier dispatched Anson Call and David Evans to Knoxville,
Illinois. They went to request the circuit judge, Jesse C. Thomas, have his court
investigate the charges against him. Judge Thomas granted the request
and ordered Joseph's appearance at Carthage postponed.
Brothers Call and Evans returned to Nauvoo with a letter from the judge
that would have saved his life. The letter was delivered to Emma
Smith. Brother Call believes that it was not given to the Prophet.
(Joseph Smith & the Restoration, pp601-602)
Rockwell returned to Nauvoo for horses. He returned with a message
from Emma and others of the Saints pleading for his return. Upon receiving the
message Joseph stated:
my life is of no value to my friends it is of none to myself."
"Joseph said to Rockwell, 'What shall I do?' Rockwell
replied, 'You are the oldest and ought to know best; and as you make your
bed, I will lie with you.' Joseph then turned to Hyrum, who was talking
with Cahoon, and said, 'Brother Hyrum, you are the oldest, what shall we
do?' Hyrum said, 'Let us go back and give ourselves up, and see the thing
out.' After studying a few moments, Joseph said, 'If you go back I will
go with you, but we shall be butchered.' Hyrum said, 'No, no; let us go
back and put our trust in God, and we shall not be harmed. The Lord is
in it. If we live or have to die, we will be reconciled to our fate'."
That afternoon, Joseph, Hyrum, and the others returned to Nauvoo.
As they were walking to the river, Joseph and Porter fell behind. The others called back for them to hurry along. Joseph replied, "It
is of no use to hurry, for we are going back to be slaughtered."
Joseph said that he would like to get the Saints together once more and
talk to them. Porter said that if that was his wish he would get
the people together that evening and he could talk to them by starlight.
Monday - June 24: The Prophet and seventeen others rode for
As they rode by the temple, which had reached the one story level, Joseph
looked across the city and said: "This
is the loveliest place and the best people under the heavens; little do
they know the trials that await them." (HC, 6:554)
Four miles from Carthage, Joseph and his party encountered Captain Dunn
and a company of mounted militia on their way to Nauvoo with orders from
the governor to disarm the Nauvoo Legion. Joseph countersigned the
- Joseph turned to the men around him and made the following statement: "I
am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer's morning.
I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men. If they
take my life I shall die an innocent man, and my blood shall cry from the
ground for vengeance, and it shall be said of me 'He was murdered in cold
blood!'" (HC, 6:555)
Tuesday - June 25: The Prophet surrendered himself to Constable
Bettisworth. The governor reaffirmed his pledge for their protection
and an impartial trial. That evening they were committed to the Carthage
Wednesday - June 26: The day was spent in the Carthage Jail.
Joseph met with Governor Ford in the morning explaining the action of the
city council in regard to the Expositor. He said that they had acted
in accordance with the law" (HC, 6:581-582).
Ford said that the destruction of the Expositor was a high handed measure
suppressing the liberty of speech and the press.
Joseph justified its destruction by saying that "a set of worthless
vagabonds" had come into the city and vilified the character of themselves
and their wives and their children. He said, "There
is not a city in the United States that would have suffered such an indignity
for twenty-four hours." (HC, 6:581)
Governor Ford was going to Nauvoo the following day. Joseph asked
the governor if he could go with him since he did not feel safe in Carthage. The governor said that he would honor his request and pledged protection.
During the day John Taylor sang and extracts from the Book of Mormon were
read. They preached to the guards and testified of their innocence.
That afternoon Constable Bettisworth presented the jailer with an order
for the prisoners to appear before Justice Robert Smith for trial. George Stigall, the jailer, said that the order was illegal and refused
to surrender the prisoners.
An appeal was made to the governor who said that we have plenty of troops
to bring the prisoners out.
Joseph donned his hat and walked boldly outside where he locked arms with
the roughest looking of the Carthage Greys and walked to the courthouse,
expecting to be massacred on the way.
Joseph's lawyers objected to the illegality of the proceedings. The
examination was postponed until the following day and subpoenas were granted
to bring witnesses from Nauvoo.
The prisoners were returned to the Carthage Jail where they spent the night.
Thursday - June 27:
Dan Jones, who had spent the night with the prisoners, inquired of Frank
Worrell, sergeant of the guard, about the meaning of a shot heard during
Worrell didn't answer Dan Jones' question, but said that he could "prophesy
better than Old Joe, for neither he nor his brother, nor anyone who remain
with them, will see the sun set today." (HC, 6:602)
Jones set off to report the threat to the governor and on his way heard
a militia leader say the following: "Our troops will be discharged
this morning in obedience to orders, and for a sham, we will leave the
town; but when the governor and the McDonough troops have left for Nauvoo
this afternoon, we will return and kill those men, if we have to tear down
the jail." (HC, 6:602-603)
Governor Ford's response to Jones: "You are unnecessarily alarmed for
the safety of your friends, sir, the people are not that cruel." (HC,
Jones said to the governor, "I demand of you protection of their lives."
He said that if he didn't comply, "the Almighty will preserve my life
to a proper time and place, that I may testify that you have been timely
warned to their danger." (HC, 6:603)
Before leaving for Nauvoo, the governor disbanded all the militia, except
for the McDonough county troops, which he took with him to Nauvoo.
Cyrus Wheelock gained admittance to the jail.
While there he passed a six-shooter to the Prophet, giving both Hyrum and
Joseph a weapon.
Wheelock also received a list of witnesses to get for the trial.
The governor left for Nauvoo at 11:00 AM, ignoring his promise to Joseph
from the previous day.
Joseph and Hyrum spoke to their companions in the jail bearing ardent testimonies
of the Book of Mormon and prophesied that the gospel would triumph over
all the earth.
After dinner (lunch) Willard Richards complained of an upset stomach. Stephen Markham was asked to go out and get some medicine. Markham
was refused readmittance to the jail and was forced to leave.
He was told he had five minutes to leave town. Markham refused and
several of the Carthage Greys rushed upon him with bayonets, forcing him
onto his horse. After refusing again they prodded his legs until
his boots were full of his own blood.
Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, John Taylor, and Willard Richards were the only
ones remaining in the jail.
"Meantime the prisoners . . . experienced that
depression of spirit that so often precedes calamitous events in the lives
of men. Especially was this the case with the Prophet . . . . The
afternoon was sultry and hot. The four brethren sat listlessly about the
room with their coats off; and the windows of the prison were open to receive
such air as might be stirring." (CHC, 2:282-283)
Without question, the feeling of the afternoon was one of gloom, as if
they anticipated the dark events that would soon transpire.
"Late in the afternoon Mr. Stigall, the jailor,
came in and suggested that they would be safer in the cells. Joseph told
him that they would go in after supper. Turning to Elder Richards the Prophet
said: 'If we go into the cell will you go with us?'
"Elder Richards: 'Brother Joseph, you did not
ask me to cross the river with you [referring to the time, when they crossed
the Mississippi, en route for the Rocky Mountains]—you did not ask me to
come to Carthage—you did not ask me to come to jail with you—and do you
think I would forsake you now? But I will tell you what I will do; if you
are condemned to be hung for "treason," I will be hung in your stead, and
you shall go free.'
"Joseph: 'But you cannot.'
"Richards: 'I will.'
"Hyrum Smith asked Elder Taylor to sing again
'The Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.'
"Elder Taylor: 'Brother Hyrum, I do not feel
"Hyrum: 'Oh, never mind: commence singing and
you will get the spirit of it'." (CHC, 2:283-284)
As Elder Richards looked out the south window of the jail, he saw a hundred
or more men rushing around the corner of the jail.
Hyrum and Joseph grabbed their guns. John and Willard grabbed their
walking sticks. The four of them sprang against the door.
The mob rushed the jail, several of them pushing aside the guards and running
up the stairs, shooting and yelling.
The mob was unable to get through the door so one of the mob fired
a shot through the keyhole. As the door started to open, Joseph,
John, and Willard sprang against the door and tried to knock down the guns.
A ball tore through the upper door panel and struck Hyrum on the left side
of the nose. Hyrum fell to the floor crying, "I
am a dead man!"
Joseph bent over the lifeless body of Hyrum, sobbing, "Oh
dear brother Hyrum." (HC, 6:617-618)
Joseph then rushed the door and fired three shots from his revolver.
After a brief lull, bullets again started whizzing through the room.
John Taylor was about to leap out a window when a ball fired from the doorway
struck his thigh. As he was about to fall, another bullet from the
window hit the watch in his vest and knocked him back into the room. After crawling under the bed, he was hit with three more bullets.
Joseph turned from the door, dropped his revolver, and sprang to the east
Bullets hit the Prophet both from the doorway and from outside.
The Prophet exclaimed, "O Lord, my God!"
and fell to the ground. There is evidence that the Prophet was shot
again after falling to the ground.
Through all of this Willard Richards was untouched.
In the midst of this confusion, some shouted, "The Mormons are coming!"
It was a false alarm, but it was enough to strike fear into the hearts
of the murderers and they fled to the woods. It was all over in a
matter of minutes.
That evening, Willard Richards sent the following communication to Nauvoo:
"CARTHAGE JAIL. 8 o'clock, 5 min., p. m., June
27. Joseph and Hyrum are dead. Taylor wounded, not badly. I am well. Our
guard was forced as we believe, by a band of Missourians from 100 to 200.
The job was done in an instant, and the party fled towards Nauvoo instantly.
This is as I believe it. The citizens here are afraid of the 'Mormons'
attacking them; I promise them no." (CHC, 2:289-290)
Events Following The Death Of Joseph & Hyrum.
On the afternoon of Joseph and Hyrum's death Governor Ford was addressing
the Saints in Nauvoo.
He encouraged the Saints to keep the peace. He stated: "You ought to
be praying Saints, not military Saints. Depend upon it, a little more misbehavior
from the citizens, and the torch, which is already lighted, will be applied,
and the city may be reduced to ashes, and extermination would inevitably
follow..." (HC, 6:623
Upon his return to Carthage that afternoon the governor learned of the
assassination. In Carthage the governor advised those remaining in
town to flee since he expected the Mormons to storm the county seat and
burn it to the ground.
The governor left town for Quincy.
The Saints kept the peace and there were not any serious threats to Nauvoo
during the remainder of the summer.
June 28: The bodies of Joseph and Hyrum were brought to Nauvoo by
Willard Richards, Samuel Smith, and a guard of eight men.
June 29: The bodies lay in state from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM while thousands
viewed them. The coffins containing Joseph and Hyrum were removed
from the pine boxes and bags of sand substituted in the coffins. The funeral procession moved to the cemetery east of the city where W.W.
Phelps preached the funeral sermon.
Near midnight the coffins containing the bodies were taken and secretly
buried in the basement of the Nauvoo House. Later that fall the bodies
of Joseph and Hyrum were reburied under the floor of the springhouse near
the old homestead.
This was considered necessary because of threats to desecrate the bodies. A reward of $1000 was reportedly offered for the head of the Prophet.
In 1879 when Emma died, she was buried at the this same site.
In January 1928, Frederick M Smith (President of the Reorganized Church)
began searching for the remains of Joseph and Hyrum. Old Nauvoo residents
were asked where the Spring House once stood. After six days of searching
the skeletons were discovered and the remains of Joseph, Hyrum, and Emma
were moved to a higher spot.
Samuel Smith: On the day of the martyrdom, he mounted his horse and
rode for Carthage. Samuel was pursued for two hours, finally arriving
in Carthage shortly after the assassination. Once in Carthage he
helped carry John Taylor to the hotel and dress his wounds. He also
assisted in preparing and moving the bodies. The physical and nervous
exhaustion caused a severe fever and Samuel died one month after the burial
of his beloved brothers.
For additional background information see the following at LDS.org:
Photos from my trip to Nauvoo and Carthage in 2010
Bullet hole through the door in Carthage Jail - caused by the
same bullet that killed Hyrum
A view into the room where Joseph and Hyrum were killed
Final resting place for the remains of Emma, Joseph, and Hyrum in
Another view of the final resting place for Emma, Joseph, and
The Mississippi River can be seen in the distance
Joseph Smith Has Sealed His Mission and His Works
Section 135 was written by John Taylor.
D&C 135:1-2. Announcement of Joseph
WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS AS YOU READ ABOUT THE MARTYRDOM OF THE PROPHET
JOSEPH SMITH AND HIS BROTHER HYRUM?
D&C 135:3. John Taylor's eulogy of Joseph & Hyrum.
WHAT MAKES JOSEPH SMITH UNIQUE AMONG THE PROPHETS?
He was a conduit or tool for the restoration of the fulness of the gospel in the
Responsible for the coming forth of more scripture than any other prophet.
Through him, the keys of eternity were opened to all mankind from the beginning
Who Was Joseph Smith?
Joseph Smith: "You don't know me; you never
knew my heart. No man knows my history. I cannot tell it: I shall never
undertake it. I don't blame any one for not believing my history. If I
had not experienced what I have, I would not have believed it myself. I
never did harm any man since I was born in the world. My voice is always
"I cannot lie down until all my work is finished.
I never think any evil, nor do anything to the harm of my fellow-man. When
I am called by the trump of the archangel and weighed in the balance, you
will all know me then." (HC, 6:317)
Brigham Young: "What is the nature and beauty
of Joseph's mission? You know that I am one of his Apostles. When I first
heard him preach, he brought heaven and earth together; and all the priests
of the day could not tell me anything correct about heaven, hell, God,
angels, or devils: they were as blind as Egyptian darkness. When I saw
Joseph Smith, he took heaven, figuratively speaking, and brought it down
to earth; and he took the earth, brought it up, and opened up, in plainness
and simplicity, the things of God; and that is the beauty of his mission."
Wilford Woodruff: "Joseph Smith was what he professed
to be, a prophet of God, a seer and revelator. He laid the foundation of
this Church and kingdom, and lived long enough to deliver the keys of the
kingdom to the Elders of Israel, unto the Twelve Apostles. He spent the
last winter of his life, some three or four months, with the Quorum of
the Twelve, teaching them. It was not merely a few hours ministering to
them the ordinances of the Gospel; but he spent day after day, week after
week and month after month, teaching them and a few others the things of
the kingdom of God. Said he, during that period, 'I now rejoice. I have
lived until I have seen this burden, which has rested on my shoulders,
rolled on to the shoulders of other men; now the keys of the kingdom are
planted on the earth to be taken away no more for ever.' But until he had
done this, they remained with him; and had he been taken away they would
have had to be restored by messengers of of heaven. But he lived until
every key, power and principle of the holy Priesthood was sealed on the
Twelve and on President Young, as their President. He told us that he was
going away to leave us, going away to rest. Said he, 'You have to round
up your shoulders to bear up the kingdom. No matter what becomes of me.
I have desired to see that Temple built, but I shall not live to see it.
You will; you are called upon to bear off this kingdom.' This language
was plain enough, but we did not understand it any more than the disciples
of Jesus when he told them he was going away, and that if he went not the
Comforter would not come. It was just so with Joseph. He said this time
after time to the Twelve and to the Female Relief Societies and in his
public discourses; but none of seemed to understand that he was going to
seal his testimony with his blood, but so it was." (JD,
Josiah Quincy (one-time mayor of Boston): "It is
by no means improbable that some future textbook, for the use of generations
yet unborn, will contain a question something like this: What historical
American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence
upon the destinies of his countrymen? And it is by no means impossible
that the answer to the interrogatory may be thus written: Joseph Smith,
the 'Mormon' Prophet. And the reply, absurd as it doubtless seems to most
men now living, may be an obvious commonplace to their descendants. History
deals in surprises and paradoxes quite as startling as this. The man who
established a religion in this age of free debate, who was and is today
accepted by hundreds of thousands as a direct emissary from the Most High
- such a rare human being is not to be disposed of by pelting his memory
with unsavory epithets." (quoted by B.H. Roberts in, Joseph
Smith, The Prophet Teacher, pp8-9)
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO GAIN A TESTIMONY THAT JOSEPH SMITH WAS A PROPHET
Many years ago, I had the opportunity of accompanying a young lady on a
tour of Temple Square and the Visitor's Center. She had some familiarity
with the Church because her sister had been baptized a few years earlier. As we returned home she made many positive remarks about the Church and
its programs. She continued by stating that she could accept the
Church if it was not for Joseph Smith and his ridiculous claims. I had the opportunity of bearing testimony to this young lady that everything
she was so impressed with was a result of the prophetic calling of Joseph
Smith, and that through him the Lord had restored his church and priesthood
power to the earth. Without question the greatness and strength of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is as a result of the mission
of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the burning testimony of the Saints of
his prophetic calling.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO KEEP THIS TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH SMITH STRONG?
HOW CAN WE SHOW THE LORD OUR GRATITUDE FOR THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH'S LIFE
See Lesson 13 - This Generation Shall Have My Word through
You for additional information on the mission and contributions of Joseph
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on the Prophet Joseph Smith. How can you honor his
Resources Used In This Lesson
A Comprehensive History of the Church by B.H. Roberts (CHC).
History of the Church (HC).
Joseph Smith and the Restoration by Ivan J. Barrett.
Joseph Smith, The Prophet Teacher by B.H. Roberts.
Journal of Discourses (JD).
Studies In Scripture, Volume 1, edited by Robert L. Millet
and Kent P. Jackson.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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