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.
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
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.
I hope one day to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith if the Lord would allow.
@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?
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.
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.
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.
Lilalips & Craig ClarkAs 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
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
@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
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..
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.
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.
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?
@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.
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
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.
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 Smithand 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...
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?
It is very good to reminiscence our heroes ( Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith). It
will better to practice their bravery by standing for the truth and the best is
when the light of the gospel and the spirit descend upon us and people will say
you (we) have the spirit. I for one am a living witness of the divine
power(priesthood) we hood.
The United States was soon brought to justice for denying Joseph Smith his
constitutional rights murdering and driving members of Christ's restored
Church beyond it's borders.The Civil War was the punishment.
Every time I read this account of the incidents surrounding the deaths of Joseph
and Hyrum Smith, my mind expounds the evil which surrounded and finally overtook
these good men. There were no heroes to save them; no last minute reprieve by
angels or men. They left behind families, wives and children as their
life-blood poured on those wooden floors. Their murders went unpunished and
evil rejoiced. But their blood was not shed in vain. The Church of Jesus
Christ triumphed and grew in the hearts and minds of the pure in heart who have
Divine guidance in accepting it. Indeed, the murders of Joseph and Hyrum did
not stop this work but rather gave it a renewed life thus showing that good can
triumph over the howling of the adversary and that Christ and His church will
prevail. Thank you Brother Joseph and Hyrum, for your sacrifice.
Didn't Smith have a gun? Didn't he shoot back before dying? Why was
that part of the story left out?I understand the "martyr"
concept because of the religious background, but find some of this rhetoric
Praise to the man! Blessed to open the last dispensation. Traitors and tyrants
now fight him in vain.
@Schnee"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."I
respectfully disagree. The vast majority of his followers, though they would
have been greatly disappointed, were generally peaceful and sincere people.
But, it is a moot point. They were not deceived or disappointed. He was a
prophet. Joseph took the hero's way and his people, though shaken to the
core at his death, carried on. The Lord's revelations of
gospel organization, doctrine, and ordinances - revealed through him - are what
the church needed to survive and thrive. The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day-Saints today is what it is because of what Joseph taught and did.
Lots to love, Helen Mar Kimball, Fannie Alger, ets.
By any objective measurement, Joseph Smith's accomplishments are so
profound and stunning, I believe even those who throw their rocks are back
pedaling as quickly as the rock is thrown. To actually and thoughtfully
consider his life with the least amount of objectivity would leave them feeling,
at minimum, sheepish. Foolish would be the other end! Joseph Smith was a
Joseph Smith was, and is, a true prophet of God.Based on that sure,
pure knowledge, visiting Nauvoo and the Carthage jail was a powerful and sacred
experience I will always cherish.Like one poster above said, I would
be thrilled to someday meet Joseph Smith in person. I would be even more
thrilled if he someday considered me worthy of being his friend.
@BR Old Testament: Issac had but one wife, Rebekah. Jacob was tricked into
having two wives. It was through another man's wickedness. And it brought
his family great sadness. Imagine having to "buy" a night with your
spouse the way that Leah had to do. Sarah, Abrahams wife, instigated Abraham
taking Hagar and notice that Abraham didn't jump to do it. He inquired of
the Lord. The Lord said, "Listen to your wife". The Lord would NEVER
stand between a man and his wife to force her to accept the taking of other
wives. He has never done that in the scriptures. So simply saying that
"polygamy has existed in the Old Testament, therefore it is valid today"
falls short. Facts are stubborn things. It is my understanding from my
personal study that Joseph Smith also married other apostles wives who were
already married to living men. AND that his total number of known wives is
somewhere up in the 40's for number. The church is true despite Joseph
Smith's mistakes. I wish the Church was more honest about the history.
@Light and LibertyJoseph did some good things and taught some good
principles. On the other hand he did marry 14 year old girls and told women if
they didnt marry him an angel was going to kill him.One of the worst
things we have done in the church is portray Joseph as an almost perfect man,
almost to the point of worship.
Clifton Palmer McLendonThe same reason that god would command
somebody to live polygamy, but not protect that person from mobs attacking him
for living as god commanded.
@something to think about, Was Abel a martyr if he didn't defend himself?
Martyr means you would rather die than give up your beliefs, you still have a
right to defend yourself.
Joseph Smith's only true successors in the church presidency were Sidney
Rigdon, and, after Rigdon fell in 1847, William Bickerton, in 1852.
I remember visiting Carthage as a young boy and being strongly impressed by the
preserved bloodstains in the wood. Since that unforgettable experience I have
taken the liberty of reading and examining nearly every biography and teaching I
could find on the prophet Joseph. Joseph could not have experienced divine
manifestations without having been a pure and virtuous vessel. And he went
through persecution even to the point of foreseen death. I know he was not only
a remarkable individual but he was also God's prophet. For that I am
grateful. And I for one am closer to God for that knowledge.
ThinksIThink, a gun was smuggled into the jail, in fact two were, and one of
them is on display at the Church History Museum. It was the gun called a Pepper
Box. That is hardly earth shaking information. I'd have wanted a gun in
there too for self defense had I been Joseph. They weren't in the cells,
they were in the upstairs bedroom. If some of the mob got hurt, that's
just too bad for them. They shouldn't have been participating in
Clifton, good job on your comments. From one fellow Nacogdochesite to another.
Still an amazing story. It's hard to believe the magnitude of hatred that
surrounded this event, yet equally as hard to believe the enormity of faith and
goodness that was brought by that man. Praise to the man!