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Picturing history: Calm as a Summer's Morning statue

Published: Wednesday, March 12 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

This statue west of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple shows Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum riding off to Carthage Jail.

Photo by Kenneth Mays

When President Gordon B. Hinckley announced in 1999 that the Nauvoo Illinois Temple was to be rebuilt, he explained "the new building will stand as a memorial to those who built the first such structure there on the banks of the Mississippi." And so it was done.

In a similar spirit, immediately west of the rebuilt temple, just across Wells Street, is a beautiful statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith riding off to Carthage, Ill., where they would be killed by a mob in June 1844. They are depicted as being in conversation, free of stress even though Joseph had prophesied that they would "be butchered." He commented on this occasion, "I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer's morning" (Doctrine and Covenants 135:4).

Stan Watts and Kim Corpany created the sculpture. The monument arrived in Nauvoo and was set in place in December 2003.

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