"Martyrdom Of Joseph Smith"
A turning point in
Mormon history was
the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith, after only
38 years of mortal life, was martyred by an armed mob on June 27,
Mormon Church was headquartered in Nauvoo, Illinois. The Mormons
had been flourishing there after having been driven out of Ohio and
Missouri by mob violence. Trouble escalated again when the Nauvoo
city council voted to destroy an anti-Mormon newspaper it considered
a threat to the public safety.
The governor of Illinois asked Joseph Smith to surrender himself and
face trial for the order. Joseph decided to obey the governor
despite knowing that it would cost him his life. Before leaving he
said "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 towards God,
and towards all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said
of me--he was murdered in cold blood."
On that fateful day of June 27 a large group of
angry mobsters burst into
Jail where the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum were being
held with John Taylor and Willard Richards. The town militia had
been charged with protecting the prisoners but the mob included many
The mob stormed up the stairs into the room where the prisoners were
being held. In an attempt to protect the others, Hyrum held the door
hoping the mob would not storm through. They fired through the door
and Hyrum became the first to be killed, falling on the floor and
declaring, "I am a dead man!" Joseph knelt beside his brother and
cried, "Oh! My poor, dear brother Hyrum!"
John Taylor was shot, but did not die. Miraculously, Willard
Richards escaped without a wound. Joseph went to the window to draw
the mob's attention away from the other prisoners. He was shot in
the back and the chest and fell from the window shouting "O Lord my
The mob rushed outside leaving the wounded John Taylor and Willard
Richards alive. The Prophet
Smith and his brother Hyrum sealed their testimonies of the
restored gospel with their blood.
The Mormons were devastated by the loss of their
prophet and confused what to do next. The enemies of the Mormons
thought the death of their prophet would also kill the movement but
it lives on.
Within the grief that their mother Lucy felt, she felt comfort and
peace. As she cried, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken this
family!" she reported hearing a voice reply, "I have taken them to
myself, that they might have rest."
Then, as she looked upon the mortal remains of her two sons, she
said, "I seemed almost to hear them say, 'Mother, weep not for us,
we have overcome the world by love; we carried to them the gospel,
that their souls might be saved; they slew us for our testimony, and
thus placed us beyond their power, their ascendancy is for a moment,
ours is an eternal triumph.'"
For more information visit the following sites:
Smith - Home
Fulfilled Prophecies of Joseph Smith
Biography and Much More From Answers.com
Joseph Smith - Lightplanet
Joseph Smith - bellsouth