Comments about ‘170th anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith’

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Published: Saturday, June 28 2014 11:55 p.m. MDT

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rw123
Sandy, UT

Joseph was a figure for the eternities. And Hyrum was a hero as well. An angel of God prophesied Joseph's name would be had for good and bad throughout the world and indeed it has. We do not worship Joseph or Hyrum, but we do venerate them as great men, about as great as ever lived.

I for one will be forever grateful for the work that they did to bring us the gospel of Jesus Christ. They sealed their testimonies with their blood: The ultimate testimonies that could be given.

Lilalips
Attleboro, MA

Sad that they had to die the way they did. But is there a possibility that Joseph Smith died because of how he "lived" polygamy? (polyandry or spiritual wives) Joseph told Emma that if she didn't accept polygamy that she would be destroyed. Within that same year he was gone. Yet, the church has gone on to become something very powerful. A force for good. I don't think the "martyrdom" was as black and white as the Church has always taught.

tyndale1
Pullman, WA

To Lilalips, few things are ever clear cut, black or white, yet the end result is the same. Joseph Smith did his part, the part the Lord needed him to do. He was human and had his faults, but he did what the Lord asked of him, and that is all any of us can do. How I admire his courage. How I appreciate his willingness to go forward with certain things even when he knew certain results would cause his death. Yet he didn't falter. As I study and contemplate the answers to gospel questions that he provided through the insight of his unique calling, I am overwhelmed. What a gift to humanity he was.

ImABeliever
Provo, UT

I hope one day to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith if the Lord would allow.

Clifton Palmer McLendon
Gilmer, TX

@Lilalips: "Polyandry" [from the Greek "poly" (many) and "andros" (man)] involves one wife married to a number of husbands.

"Polygyny" [from the Greek "poly" (many) and "gyne" (woman)] involves one husband married to a number of wives.

The general term "polygamy" [from the Greek "poly" (many) and "gamos" (marriage)] can refer to either polyandry or polygyny.

As to your conjecture about Joseph Smith's death: Why would God give a commandment, then punish someone for obeying it?

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Joseph’s murder might not have happened had he shown restraint in his conduct on several fronts. He wasn’t just the leader of the Church. He was also a civil authority who exercised poor judgment in ordering the destruction of the Expositor and declaring martial law in Nauvoo. To his enemies, he was behaving like an autocrat who was out of control. Joseph tempted fate once too often with tragic results.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Craig Clark,

Even if you put these actions in their most negative light, the punishment for these actions is not death to you and your brother (certainly without due process) and the expulsion of an entire city.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Twin Lights,

Agreed. People are not justified in taking the law into their own hands regardless of what they think someone has done. But vigilantism was a phenomenon that cropped periodically in our nation’s early history, especially on the American frontier.

BR
Sandy, UT

Lilalips & Craig Clark

As we read the scriptures - Old, New Testament, Book of Mormon, etc. we can find that several prophets were murdered for saying the truth and following the Lord's commandment. Not because they didn't show some restraint or because of polygamy, as many prophets had more than one wife (Abraham, Jacob, etc.)They were killed because there is evil in this world and some people chose to follow evil instead the voice of the Lord.

TheProudDuck
Newport Beach, CA

It takes brave men to die for their cause.

Joseph had built a revolutionary religious movement, and assembled a community of saints whose virtue he recognized and whom he dearly loved. Faced with the choice between abandoning and disillusioning them and violent early death, he chose the heroic choice.

JonathanPDX
Portland, Oregon

@Craig Clark - On a similar note,

"Jesus’ murder might not have happened had he shown restraint in his conduct on several fronts. ... To his enemies, he was behaving like an autocrat who was out of control. Jesus tempted fate once too often with tragic results."

If those appointed by God to complete a specific task were to kowtow to every criticism by mankind, nothing would ever get done.

@LilyLips - Jesus taught that we would know a prophet by his fruits. Those brought forth by Joseph Smith have proven time and again to be some of the greatest ever given to mankind. His works have more than proven his position as a prophet of the Living God.

Seems to happen a lot to those who seek to bring more light to a very dark world.

donn
layton, UT

RE: Craig Clark , “JS was behaving like an autocrat who was out of control. Joseph tempted fate once too often with tragic results”. True, It got out of hand.

He was arrested and put in Carthage Jail because he ordered the destruction of a printing press that was exposing the truth about his polygamy and his plans to take over the U.S. government and institute a theo-democracy.

JS sent a secret message to the Nauvoo Legion commander to bring troops to break him out of jail which the commander refused to do. He was smuggled a gun by a church friend which he fired frantically at the storming mob.
He went to the window of the jail in view of the mob to scream the masonry distress call hoping to influence help by fellow masons. Joseph Smith was wearing an occult object called a Jupiter Talisman on him on the day he was killed.
.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

donn,

"....He was arrested and put in Carthage Jail because he ordered the destruction of a printing press that was exposing the truth about his polygamy and his plans to take over the U.S. government and institute a theo-democracy...."
______________________________

You’re wildly overstating the church and state matter. The Expositor called for repeal of the Nauvoo Charter whose powers they felt Joseph was abusing. But there was never a call by Joseph Smith to “take over the U.S. Government and institute a theo-democracy,” as you charge.

Joseph was in fact an announced candidate for President at the time. His published paper titled General Smith’s Views of the Power and Policy of the Government was the equivalent of his Presidential platform. It’s apocalyptic in tone but it does not call for a takeover of the Government.

The Expositor did detail allegations of polygamy using sworn statements from individuals in Nauvoo.

Don Aldo
BOUNTIFUL, UT

Joseph Smith stands out as a religious, business and political leader during an age that produced giants in many fields. Nevertheless it is not impossible that some future historians will recognize him as the greatest figures of all modern times. One of his great achievements is The Book of Mormon. If one does not accept Joseph's account of it's divine origin, the only alternative is that the book is a fictional work, and that Joseph must be one of the greatest novelists of the nineteenth century from the age of seventeen (it then took seven years to get it published.) An other great achievement is the brilliant organization he founded. An other is a body of theological doctrine rivaling any other system of religious thought in its completeness and logical beauty. Opine what you will; I choose to follow him as the true prophet of God The Father, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost.

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

It is interesting to observe a different nature of comments on this thread. Not as much negative against the Church as we usually get. Perhaps the circumstances of the death of the Prophet tend to subdue his critics. If I knew nothing about the Church (and I at one point in my life I did not), just knowing that Joseph Smith was killed by a mob with faces painted black would make me wonder what kind of man he was. A coward tends to be antagonistic against a certain type of people, the opposite type, the noble kind. What kind of character would attract a violent mob of several hundred cowards?

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@TheProudDuck
"Faced with the choice between abandoning and disillusioning them and violent early death, he chose the heroic choice."

He never had that choice, if in 1844 he were to say it was all a hoax (abandoning and disillusioning) he'd have probably been murdered by his followers for deceiving them and sacrificing so much to follow him.

donn
layton, UT

RE: Craig Clark, It’s apocalyptic in tone but it does not call for a takeover of the Government?

On April 11, 1844, the Council of Fifty installed Joseph Smith as king on earth, then two days later, “He [Smith] prophecied the entire overthrow of this nation in a few years.” This theocratic-political body believed they were receiving God's “law” for the whole earth. On January 1, 1845, William Clayton summarized the goals and accomplishments of this council during 1844:
Apostles Lyman Wight and Heber C. Kimball, both members of the Council of Fifty, in a June 19, 1844, letter to Joseph Smith boldly declared, “You are bound to be the President of the United States on 4th March 1845 and that you are already president pro tem of the world.”

Joseph Smith by attempting to establish a secret theocratic-government within America in 1844 appears to have violated the treason clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article III, Section 3). Moreover, his plan and method for overthrowing the United States.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Sasha Pachev,

"....just knowing that Joseph Smith was killed by a mob with faces painted black would make me wonder what kind of man he was...."
______________________________

Joseph Smith was a phenomenally polarizing figure. People loved him or hated him, regarded him as God’s prophet or as a complete scoundrel. Such polemic extremes are what make him a larger than life figure. Every new book about him that offers a definitive explanation seems to reignites the debate.

David in CA
Livermore, CA

According to most LDS, Joseph Smith was the leader and Prophet of the Restoration.

We were hoping that BYU-TV would have some type of program of recoginition of Joseph Smith
and his contribution to the world. This is the day he was died in Carthage along with his brother Hyrum.

We checked the program guide on BYU-TV for something about Joseph and Hyrum. Didn't find
anything!! Just another day with Time for stuff like Studio C, Sports, an FBI cop show, and some old movies that have nothing to do with with LDS culture or history.

The orginal BYU-TV USED to play programs of LDS significance. The "Keeping You Connected"
BYU-TV was far BETTER!!! The decision makers that are now there say it's getting better, but some of us believe it's just getting more Secular...

ThinksIThink
SEATTLE, WA

I believe Richard Bushman, in Rough Stone Rolling, discussed evidence that Joseph Smith had a gun in the jail and that Joseph fired the gun possibly injuring or killing others. Is this simply conjecture or is it generally accepted as true?

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