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Mormon Beliefs


"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, 1844.

The 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 Carthage 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 of them.

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 God!"

The mob rushed outside leaving the wounded John Taylor and Willard Richards alive. The Prophet Joseph 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:

Joseph Smith - Home

Fulfilled Prophecies of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith: Biography and Much More From Answers.com

Joseph Smith - Lightplanet

Joseph Smith - bellsouth





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