Joseph Smith the Prophet
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  JOHN TAYLOR

O give me back my Prophet dear,
And Patriarch, O give them back;
The Saints of latter days to cheer,
And lead them in the gospel track.
But oh! they're gone from my embrace,
From earthly scenes their spirits fled;
Two of the best of Adam's race,
Now lie entombed among the dead.

Ye men of wisdom tell me why,
No guilt, no crime in them were found,
Their blood doth now so loudly cry,
From prison walls, and Carthage ground.
Your tongues are mute, but pray attend,
The secret I will now relate,
Why those whom God to earth did lend,
Have met the suffering martyr's fate.

Your tongues are mute, but pray attend,
The secret I will now relate,
Why those whom God to earth did lend,
Have met the suffering martyr's fate.

O give me back my prophet dear.1
 

 
NARRATOR

Throughout the history of mankind, God has called prophets to lead His people and teach them His great Plan of Salvation.  However, after the death of Christ’s apostles, due to the great wickedness upon the Earth and the perversion of many plain and simple truths of the Gospel, God took His priesthood from the Earth, and, as prophesied by Paul, the dark cloud of apostasy covered the Earth for centuries.2

In the spring of 1820 there was in the area of Palmyra, New York an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. Indeed, the whole region seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created quite a division among the people. Joseph Smith, at this time, was fourteen years old.3
 

 

JOSEPH SMITH

During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.

In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did, for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know…

At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God.4

So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.

After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. 

I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.  But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction…

I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is Mv Beloved Son. Hear Him!5

I soon found that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among the professors of religion….  However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision.  I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true….6
 

 
 

NARRATOR

Three years later, on the evening of the 21st of September 1823, young Joseph was feeling condemned for his weaknesses and imperfections. As he called upon God for forgiveness, a light appeared in his room and an angel stood at his bedside.7
 

 
 

JOSEPH SMITH

The angel called me by name, and said unto me that God had a work for me to do.  He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent…. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it….8
 

 
 

NARRATOR

As Joseph prepared himself to receive the gold plates, news of his curious story spread to neighbors and the local clergy who responded with scoffs and vicious ridicule.
 

 
 

PREACHER

He’s seen no such thing!
He ain’t seen no vision!
His ludicrous tales hold our God in derision!
He should hold his tongue,
Quit telling his stories,
Cause men much more vulgar than I won’t stay idle for long,
They’ll seek glory
In seeing him silenced!
 

 
 

NARRATOR

Another four years passed before Joseph would be prepared to receive the plates.  During those years, the Smith family listened to Joseph as he recounted heavenly truths.  When asked whether they had ever doubted Joseph’s testimony, his brother William replied:
 

 
 

WILLIAM SMITH

We all had the most implicit confidence in the words he said. He was a truthful boy. Father and Mother believed him, why should not the children? No sir, we never doubted his word for one minute.9
 

 
 

LUCY MACK SMITH

My boy claims he’s seen a vision,
Claims the Father and the Son appeared in vision.
He’s a young boy, quite unlearned,
But his heart is good and pure,
And I believe him!
How could I not believe him?
O how marvelous it is
That our God has spoken once again,
And He’ll gather Israel as His people!
O how great the goodness of our God,
O how great His wondrous plan!

CHOIR

O how great the goodness of our God!
O how great His wisdom and His mercy!
O how great His works, His wondrous plan,
O how great the love of God!
He has placed His hand to gather Israel in,
He will gather her under his wing!
We shall be His people, and He’ll be our God!
A marvel and a wonder shall go forth!
O how great the goodness of our God!
O how great His wisdom and His mercy!

LUCY MACK SMITH

O how great His works, His wondrous plan,
O how great the love of God!

CHOIR

O how great the goodness of our God!

LUCY MACK SMITH

O how great His mercy on His people!
 

 
 

NARRATOR

While working near Harmony, Pennsylvania, Joseph boarded at the inn of Isaac Hale. There he met Mr. Hale’s daughter, Emma. Despite her father’s opposition, Joseph courted Emma and soon proposed marriage, and she, “preferring him to all others” she had met, accepted. They were married in January of 1827.10
 

 
 

LUCY MACK SMITH

I have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching courage, zeal, and patience, which she has ever done; for I know that which she has had to endure—she has been tossed upon the ocean of uncertainty—she has breasted the storms of persecution, and buffeted the rage of men and devils, which would have borne down almost any other woman.11
 

 
 

NARRATOR

On September 22, 1827, Joseph was met once again by the heavenly messenger on a hill near Palmyra. There at last he received the plates with a charge that he be responsible for them. 

For the next two and a half years, Joseph and Emma lived in a farmhouse at Harmony.  There Joseph began translation of the plates with Emma as his scribe.

Then, in April 1829, a school teacher named Oliver Cowdery came to the Smith house making inquiries about the plates.  Two days later, Oliver took over as Joseph’s scribe.
 

 
 

OLIVER COWDERY

These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated the history or record called The Book of Mormon.12
 

 
 

NARRATOR

As the translation neared completion, Oliver and two other witnesses were shown the plates by the heavenly messenger.
 

 
 

OLIVER COWDERY

I know what I have seen,
I cannot deny my eyes.
This marvelous scene,
This wonder from vaulted skies
Containing a record
Of a people who once walked this land.
We’ve seen the engravings
They made with their own weary hands!
This record is real.
I know what I have seen.

DAVID WHITMER

I know what I have heard,
I cannot deny my ears.
The angel’s sweet words
Will echo through all my years!
His voice hath declared
The translation that Joseph has made
Was done by the gift
And power of God, as he said.
This record is true.
I know what I have heard.

MARTIN HARRIS

I know what I have felt,
I cannot deny my heart.
Though memories melt,
This burning will never part!
The voice of the spirit
Bore a witness more vivid than sight
That, if we are faithful,
We shall live with our Lord Jesus Christ!
I bear record it’s true!
I know what I have felt.

OLIVER COWDERY

Should the storms beat against me,
I shall not deny my words!

DAVID WHITMER

Should the mobs rage against me,
They cannot take what I have heard!

MARTIN HARRIS

And I never shall fall!
I know what I have felt!
Should the storms beat against me,
They shall not destroy my hold!

OLIVER COWDERY

I will be true to what I’ve seen!

DAVID WHITMER

Should the mobs rage against me,
They cannot take what I’ve been told!

MARTIN HARRIS

I will be true to what I know!

OLIVER COWDERY

And I never shall fall!

ALL THREE

I know what I have felt!
 

 
 

NARRATOR

The publication of the Book of Mormon stirred up powerful opposition to Joseph and those who stood beside him.  However, with the increasing ridicule and persecution also came more heavenly manifestations, as the “restoration of all things” continued. 
 

 
 

OLIVER COWDERY

I was present with Joseph when an holy angel of God came down from heaven and restored the lesser or Aaronic Priesthood…. I was also present with Joseph when the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred by the holy angel from on high.

I shall not attempt to paint to you the feelings of this heart, nor the majestic beauty and glory which surrounded us on this occasion….  The assurance that we were in the presence of an angel, and the truth unsullied as it flowed from a pure personage, dictated by the will of God, is to me past description, and I shall ever look upon this expression of the Savior’s goodness with wonder and thanksgiving….13
 

 
 

NARRATOR

The Lord’s promise to once again establish His church on earth was fulfilled on April 6, 1830 in Fayette, New York in what became the first organizational meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The meeting opened in solemn prayer, the Lord’s sacrament was blessed and passed, and the Holy Ghost was poured out upon congregation. There, Joseph was acknowledged as a seer, a translator, a prophet, and an apostle of Jesus Christ.14
 

 
 

JOSEPH SMITH

We dismissed with the pleasing knowledge that we were now individually members of The Church of Jesus Christ. To find ourselves engaged in the very same order of things which were observed by the Holy Apostles of old, created within us sensations of rapturous gratitude, which may be felt, but cannot be described.15
 

 
 

NARRATOR

But with the establishment of the Church, persecution in New York and Pennsylvania only increased.
 

 
 

NARRATOR

The latter part of January 1831, Joseph and Emma started for Kirtland, Ohio, where missionaries had seen much success for the young church.  They arrived the first part of February.  Unfortunately, persecution followed Joseph and the Saints to Kirtland and the Prophet found it necessary to move to nearby Hiram.

On the night of March 24,1832 Joseph and Emma were up caring for their two adopted twins, Joseph and Julia Murdock. Eleven months earlier, Emma had given birth to their own twins, but they lived only three hours. Hoping to ease their terrible loss, the Prophet and his wife adopted the Murdock twins, who were born on the same day as their own and whose mother had died in childbirth.

On this night, the twins had been sick with the measles for some time and, at Joseph’s urging, Emma had gone to bed with one of the children while he stayed up with the sicker child. Later, Emma arose to take her turn, and encouraged her husband to get some sleep. Soon afterward he was startled awake by his wife’s terrifying scream.
 
A dozen men had burst open the door and surrounded the bed in an instant, dragging Joseph out the door into the dark street.

In the struggle, Joseph managed to free one leg and kicked a man to the ground before the mobbers crudely swore they’d kill him if he would not be still.

They then seized him by the throat and held on until he lost consciousness from lack of breath.

He came to only to overhear part of their argument as to whether they should murder him. It was decided that for now he would simply be stripped naked, beaten senseless, tarred and feathered, and left to fend for himself in the bitter March night.

Stripped of his clothing, scratched, beaten and smeared with tar, Joseph attempted to get up, but fell again. Pulling the tar away from his lips, he was able to breathe more freely and eventually made his way back to the house. In the dim light the tar made him look as if he were covered with blood, and Emma fainted at the sight. Friends spent the entire night scraping and removing the tar and applying liniments to his scratched and battered body.16
 

 
 

JOSEPH SMITH

By morning I was ready to be clothed again. This being the Sabbath morning, the people assembled for meeting at the usual hour of worship, and among them came also the mobbers from the night before. With my flesh all scarified and defaced, I preached to the congregation as usual, and in the afternoon of the same day baptized three individuals.17
 

 
 

NARRATOR

Unfortunately, little Joseph Murdock died the following Friday as a result of the exposure and turmoil of the night.  Emma and Joseph had already lost their first three children shortly after birth, they would lose two more in the years to come.  Of their 11 children, only five would live to adulthood.

In the long hours of grief and mourning that surely followed, the Prophet and his wife must have often approached the Father with questions as to why such precious children must be taken away in their infancy. Surely they prayed for understanding to ease the anguish of the loss and be assured of the well being of their little ones. In those hours, as in so many others spent in various tribulations, the heavens were opened to the Prophet and he received light and knowledge from on High.
 

 
 

JOSEPH SMITH

The Lord takes many away even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on the earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again.18
 

 
 

EMMA SMITH

The wind through the cyprus made them sway,
And rolled the clouds back that winter day,
The sun shone through long enough to say,
"Your baby was here, but cannot stay."

For there are more important things to do,
And she must add a gleam to heaven’s hue
To help brighten the pathway for one and all,
For through the darkness, great men fall!

This little spirit, so pleasant and fair,
Returned to the ones who were waiting there.
And when I walk out in the night divine,
I know one of the stars that shine is mine!

She came to the earth just for a while,
Not long enough to see her smile.
For this little baby we loved so much
Was just to precious for a mother’s touch.19
 

 
 

NARRATOR
 
Joseph returned to Kirtland and announced the building of a House of the Lord—a temple to God. The plan was inspired and the design magnificent, but the church was poor and such an undertaking appeared impossible.  However, despite their poverty, the Latter-day Saints accepted the call and set to work to build the sacred edifice.  And despite the threats of the mob, temple construction went steadily forward. At last, the Kirtland temple was finished and dedicated on March 27, 1836.  As on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost was profusely poured out.  The congregation sang “The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning,” and the Saints shouted Hosanna to God and the Lamb.
 

 
 

CHOIR

The Spirit of God like a fire is burning!
The latter-day glory begins to come forth;
The visions and blessings of old are returning,
And angels are coming to visit the earth.
We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven,
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever; Amen and amen!

We'll call in our solemn assemblies in spirit,
To spread forth the kingdom of heaven abroad,
That we through our faith may begin to inherit
The visions and blessings and glories of God.
We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven,
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever; Amen and amen!

How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion
Shall lie down together without any ire,
And Ephraim be crowned with his blessing in Zion,
And Jesus descends with his chariot of fire!
We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven,
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever; Amen and amen!20
Amen!
 

 
 

NARRATOR

With the completion and dedication of the Kirtland Temple, malicious persecution against Joseph and the Saints increased greatly, although now much of the persecution came from within the Church.

This widespread apostasy and news of an assassination plot against him drove the Prophet from Kirtland, and in March 1838, Emma and their children joined Joseph en route to Jackson County, Missouri.

But just as in Kirtland, many church members in Missouri were falling quickly into the depths of apostasy.

Apostates joined with the mobs organizing in Missouri to perpetuate lies all the way up to the Governor, Lilburn W. Boggs.  In a shameful abuse of his office, Governor Boggs reacted to the lies by calling to arms the Missouri militia, ordering them to exterminate Mormons or drive them from the state. Frightened Saints of God were cruelly subjected to the sword and pistol as towns fell to the Missouri militia.
 

 
 

CHOIR

They speak of visions but their lies are vicious blasphemies!
They plot to take our land and use it for their devil work!
They want to overtake our government with violence!
They claim that God has given them the right to take our homes!

PREACHER

They must not prevail!
We can’t let them do this!
They must leave this land!
If they will not go, then they will not prevail, For they will not survive this!
They cannot remain!
They must learn a lesson!
If they wish to live!
If they will not go, then they will not prevail, For they will not survive this!
Do you all wish to die?!

CHOIR

They will not prevail!
We won’t let them do this!
They will leave this land!
They will not survive this!
They will not remain!
We’ll teach them a lesson!
If they wish to live!
They will not survive this!
 

 
 

NARRATOR

The Prophet and many of the Church leaders were taken captive by the militia and subjected to mockery, emotional abuse and physical exposure.  They forced Joseph and the others into a wagon headed toward Independence, Missouri.  Parley P. Pratt was among those arrested.
 

 
 

PARLEY P. PRATT

We were now marched to Far West, under the conduct of the whole army; and while they halted in the public square, we were permitted to go with a guard for a change of linen, and to take leave of our families.

…on entering my little cottage, there lay my wife sick of a fever. At her breast was our son Nathan, an infant of three months, and by her side a little girl of five years….  I stepped to the bed; my wife burst into tears; I spoke a few words of comfort, telling her to try to live for my sake and the children's; and expressing a hope that we should meet again though years may separate us. She promised to try to live. I then embraced and kissed the little babes and departed.

As I returned from my home…, I halted with the guard at the door of Hyrum Smith, and heard the sobs and groans of his wife, at his parting words. She was then near confinement; and needed more than ever the comfort and consolation of a husband's presence.  In the wagon sat Joseph Smith, while his aged father and venerable mother came up overwhelmed with tears, and took each of the prisoners by the hand with a silence of grief too great for utterance.21
 

 
 

NARRATOR

In such a moment, all that those faithful Saints had remaining, all that the wives and children of those righteous prisoners had left to hold on to, was their faith in Jesus Christ, whom they prayed would deliver their loved ones from evil men, and bring them home to them again.
 

 
 

MARY FIELDING SMITH

Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous pow'r hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.

Never can I repay thee, Lord,
But I can love thee. Thy pure word,
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect thy will.

CHOIR

O'errule mine acts to serve thine ends.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.

MARY FIELDING SMITH

Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect harmony with thee.
Make me more worthy of thy love,
And fit me for the life above.22
 

 
 

NARRATOR

For six long months Joseph and fellow prisoners suffered at Liberty Jail, in cold, dark and filthy conditions. Even more unbearable was that they were unable to accompany their family and friends, who were being violently driven from the state. This was the fifth time in 10 years the Saints were forced to leave their homes in search of a place of refuge.
 

 
  JOSEPH SMITH

Oh my affectionate Emma, I want you to remember that I am a true and faithful friend to you; and the children, forever, my heart is entwined around yours forever and ever; oh, may God bless you all…. If God will spare my life once more to have the privilege of taking care of you, I will ease your care and endeavor to comfort your heart.23

O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?
 

 
 

NARRATOR

Joseph then recorded the Lord’s reply: “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.24
 

 
 

CHOIR

For a little while
Have I forsaken thee;
But with great mercies will I gather thee.
In a little wrath I hid my face from thee
For a moment.
But with everlasting kindness will I gather thee,
And with mercy will I take thee ‘neath my wings,
For the mountains shall depart,
And the hills shall be removed,
And the valleys shall be lost beneath the sea,
But know, my child,
My kindness shall not depart from thee!

Though thine afflictions seem
At times too great to bear,
I know thine every thought and every care.
And though the very jaws
Of hell gape after thee I am with thee.
And with everlasting mercy will I succor thee,
And with healing will I take thee ‘neath my wings.
Though the mountains shall depart,
And the hills shall be removed,
And the valleys shall be lost beneath the sea,
Know, my child,
My kindness shall not depart from thee!

How long can rolling waters
Remain impure?
What pow’r shall stay the hand of God?
The Son of Man hath descended below all things.
Art thou greater than He?

So hold on thy way,
For I shall be with thee.
And mine angels shall encircle thee.
Doubt not what thou knowest,
Fear not man, for he
Cannot hurt thee.
And with everlasting kindness will I succor thee,
And with mercy will I take thee ‘neath my wings.
For the mountains shall depart,
And the hills shall be removed,
And the valleys shall be lost beneath the sea,
But know, my child,
My kindness shall not depart from thee!
My kindness shall not depart from thee!
 

 
 

NARRATOR

In April 1839 the Prophet and his companions finally escaped their bonds and were reunited with the Saints, now working to resettle in Illinois.
 

 
  JOSEPH SMITH

Through the mercy of God, in answer to the prayers of the Saints, I have been preserved and delivered out of the hands [of the mob], and can again enjoy the society of my friends and brethren, whom I love, and to whom I feel united in bonds that are stronger than death.25
 

 
 

NARRATOR

With the blessing of heaven on the Saints, the city of Nauvoo was born out of a swampy bend in the Mississippi River.  Before long, “the far-spread plain at the bottom of the hill was dotted with houses…The buildings, though many of them were small and of wood, yet bore the marks of neatness.”  It was reported as one of most romantic places in the West.26

Of all the buildings under construction, the most magnificent was the Nauvoo Temple.  Men volunteered one day in ten for its construction, while women assisted with clothing and meals, and raising money for needed supplies. When the southeast cornerstone was laid, Joseph declared it "in honor of the Great God" and pledged speedy construction, "that the Saints may have a place to worship God, and that the Son of Man may have where to lay His head."

But this prosperous and happy season ended all too soon as mobs began once again to threaten the existence of the Saints.  Swearing before God and all holy angels the destruction of Joseph Smith, they organized to print the Nauvoo Expositor.27 The first issue of the newspaper was filled with intolerable lies meant to provoke the population to war against the Saints.  Citing its libelous and slanderous character, Joseph and the Nauvoo City Council denounced the newspaper as a public nuisance and authorized the Marshal to destroy it.  In response, its publishers charged Joseph with inciting a riot.28

Despite the very strong premonition of impending death should he fall into the hands of his enemies, Joseph concluded to go to Carthage and give himself up.
 

 
 

JOSEPH SMITH

There is no mercy, no mercy here.  If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of none to myself.29

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 toward God and toward all men.30
 

 
 

NARRATOR

On June 24, 1844, Joseph bid farewell to his family and made his final journey to Carthage.
 

 
 

JOSEPH SMITH

Dear Emma, I am very much resigned to my lot, knowing that I am justified, and have done the best that could be done.  Give my love to the children and all my friends; May God bless you all.31
 

 
 

NARRATOR

By the afternoon of June 27th, a mob gathering outside of Carthage Jail began to grow restless.  John Taylor and Willard Richards, two of the twelve, lingered with the Prophet and his brother Hyrum in the east bedroom of the jail. “We all of us felt unusually dull and languid, with a remarkable depression of spirits,” wrote Elder Taylor. In consonance with those feelings, he sang a song that had lately been introduced into Nauvoo, entitled, "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.”
 

 
 

JOHN TAYLOR

A poor wayfaring man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not pow'r to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.

Stript, wounded, beaten nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment--he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.

In pris'n I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor's doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him 'mid shame and scorn.
My friendship's utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, "I will!"

Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name he named,
"Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto me."32

 

 
 

NARRATOR

Around five in the afternoon, an armed mob overpowered the jailer, rushed the stairs, and fired shots into the east bedroom.  Hyrum was the first to fall from an assassin’s bullet.  Bending over the body of his lifeless brother, Joseph sobbed, “O dear brother Hyrum.”  As Joseph moved toward the window, two bullets hit him from the doorway and two struck him from the outside.  He fell from the window to the ground below and was heard to exclaim, “O Lord, my God.”  Joseph, the Prophet of God, was dead.

But the work of the prophet lives on.  For Joseph “left a fame and a name that cannot be slain.”33
 

 
 

JOHN TAYLOR

Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in the world, than any other man that ever lived in it.  He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood….34
 

 
 

CHOIR

Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.
Blessed to open the last dispensation,
Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.

Praise to his memory, he died as a martyr;
Honored and blest be his ever great name!
Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins,
Plead unto heav’n while the earth lauds his fame.

Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again.

Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
Earth must atone for the blood of that man.
Wake up the world for the conflict of justice.
Millions shall know "Brother Joseph" again.

Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again!

Death cannot conquer the hero again!35

 
 

Footnotes and References

  1. From a poem by John Taylor.
  2. 2 Thes. 2:3.
  3. Joseph Smith—History 1:5.
  4. Ibid 1:8, 10-13.
  5. Ibid 1:14-17.
  6. Ibid 1:22, 24-25.
  7. Ibid 1:29.
  8. Ibid 1:33-34.
  9. J. W. Peterson, "William B. Smith's Last Statement," Zion's Ensign, Vol. 5 (1894), No. 3, p. 6.
  10. “Emma Smith’s Last Testimony,” Feb. 1879, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Independence, Missouri. Published in Saints Herald, vol. 26, p. 289.
  11. Lucy Mack Smith, The Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, p. 249.
  12. Messenger and Advocate, vol. 1 (October 1834). Quoted in Joseph Smith—History, Footnote.
  13. Ibid.
  14. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, edited by B. H. Roberts, Vol. 1, pp. 77-78. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1902–1912, 1932).
  15. Papers of Joseph Smith, Volume 1: Autobiographical and Historical Writings, edited by Dean C. Jessee, pp. 241-244, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1989).
  16. History of the Church…, Vol. 1, 262-264; and Jeffrey R. Holland, BYU devotional “The Bitter Cup and the Bloody Baptism.”
  17. History of the Church…, Vol. 1, 264.
  18. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. by Joseph Fielding Smith, pp. 196-7.
  19. From the poem "Irene" by Ellen Henry Gardner.
  20. Hymn text by William W. Phelps.
  21. Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, pp. 187-190.
  22. Hymn text by Orson F. Whitney.
  23. Letter from Joseph Smith to Emma Smith, 12 Nov. 1838, Richmond, Missouri; Community of Christ Archives, Independence, Missouri.
  24. Doctrine and Covenants 121:1-2, 7-8.
  25. History of the Church…, Vol. 3, 328.
  26. History of the Church…, Vol. ?.
  27. Jeremiah Stokes, The Soul’s Fire, p. 142.
  28. History of the Church…, Vol. 6, 432.
  29. History of the Church…, Vol. 6, 49.
  30. Doctrine and Covenants 135:4.
  31. Teachings, pp. 391-2.
  32. Hymn text by James Montgomery.
  33. Doctrine and Covenants 135:3.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Hymn text by William W. Phelps.

 
 


Joseph Smith the Prophet

composed by Rob Gardner
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