Emma Smiths copy of the 1841 Book of Mormon found

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865639100/Emma-Smith7s-copy-of-the-1841-Book-of-Mormon-found.html

Lynn and Tanya Bascom, an LDS couple from Bountiful, Utah, went on vacation this past June, touring some of the nations historical sites in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. At the home of John Quincy Adams, they found an 1841 copy of the Book of Mormon that originally belonged to someone very special in Church history Emma Smith, wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

We went back East for a wedding in Nantucket, said Lynn Bascom. My wife was born in Cape Cod, and we love to visit the New England area. While they were there, Brother and Sister Bascom decided to visit some historical sites associated with the family of John Adams in Quincy, Massachusetts.

The final stop on the Adams historical sites tour is the Old House at Peacefield, the home of John Quincy Adams. In his will, John Quincy Adams requested that his library of books be preserved in a fireproof structure, said Brother Bascom. The library is actually a quaint little cottage that is a separate stone building [housing] more than 14,000 volumes. They put in sky lights so you can see the vast array of books there.

The National Park Service oversees the tour of the Adams historic homes and a park ranger led the tour that the Bascoms attended. The guide doing the tour asked us where we were from, and we told him we were from Utah, said Tanya Bascom. He asked us if we would be interested in seeing a copy of the early edition of the Book of Mormon and directed us to a table in the library that contained several books. About six feet away from us was an 1841 copy of the Book of Mormon given to Charles Francis Adams by the Prophet Joseph Smith.

My wife asked if we could touch the Book of Mormon but we were told no, said Brother Bascom. There was also no photography allowed in the home. It was nice the guide threw it out there that the book existed. There was a large table of books that were out for display, and we could see it just a few feet away. We had taken this tour before and never noticed the Book of Mormon.

The story might have ended there without the help of Utah historian Ron Fox, a member of the Salt Lake 14th Ward. The Bascoms shared their experience with him when they returned home from their vacation and then he went to work trying to find out more. Working with the National Park Service, he obtained photos of the Book of Mormon. The results were astonishing.

The photos showed the spine of the book, indicating that it had been Emma Smiths personal copy. A few of the copies of the 1841 Book of Mormon, the first to be published in England, were engraved with the names of early Church leaders, said Brother Fox. Joseph, Emma and Hyrum all had their own copies, as well as the members of the Quorum of the Twelve and their wives. No one knew where Emma’s copy was until now. Now I wonder where Joseph Smiths copy is. Somebody might have an 1841 copy of the Book of Mormon with the name Joseph Smith engraved on it and not realize it was his personal copy.

The photos also revealed that Joseph Smith had personally signed the book and Adams had documented the receipt on the same page underneath Joseph Smiths name. Adams wrote in the Book of Mormon he received, The above is the autograph of the chief of the Mormons who gave me this book at Nauvoo on the 15th of May 1844. It was signed C. F. Adams.

Joseph Smith did not sign more than a handful of copies of the Book of Mormon, said Brother Fox. This signature and the fact that it was Emmas copy means the book would be worth a great deal if it were on the public market, probably in excess of a million dollars or more.

To understand the significance of this discovery, it is important to substantiate the historical accuracy with the journal accounts of the two men who visited Nauvoo in May of 1844. Charles Francis Adams Sr. was the son of President John Quincy Adams and grandson of President John Adams. He was serving in the Massachusetts State Senate at the time of his visit and would later become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. His traveling companion was Josiah Quincy Jr. He was serving as a member of the Boston city council at the time of his visit and was elected the mayor of Boston the following year in 1845. They decided to make a stop in Nauvoo. Both of them recorded separate experiences in their journals.

From the journal of Charles Francis Adams, May 14, 1844: As we went on it became very necessary that we should settle upon our course. Quincy [Josiah Quincy Jr., Adams’ traveling companion] wished to stop at Nauvoo, the city of the Mormons and see something of Joe Smith, the prophet.

Traveling on the Steamer boat Amaranth, the two stopped in Nauvoo. At the door of a two-story wooden house with a sign post before it, we stopped and were introduced to the celebrated Joe Smith, writes Adams. A middle-aged man with a shrewd but rather ordinary expression of countenance, unshaved and in clothes neither very choice nor neat. The whole air of the man was that of frank but not coarse vulgarity. He received us civilly and forthwith introduced us into his house. (In the early 19th century, “vulgar” meant “common, but not necessarily disgusting” [A Guide to Eighteenth-Century English Vocabulary, Jack Lynch, 14 April 2006, p. 21])

While in Nauvoo, the prophet Joseph Smith entertained, housed and fed them. They visited the construction site of the Nauvoo Temple, discussed religion and politics and Adams and Quincy both saw the Egyptian mummies and manuscript Joseph had procured. Adams writes, He then took us down into his mother’s chamber and showed us four Egyptian mummies stripped and then undertook to explain the contents of a chart or manuscript which he said had been taken from the bosom of one of them.

I think it important to note that Joseph was happy to meet with these men, said Brother Fox. They were important in their time, a son of the president of Harvard and son and grandson of the president [of the United States], and at the time President John Quincy Adams was still alive. These were both elected officials and I believe Joseph was looking to build the creditability of the Church in the East and to get help for the Church from the attacks of its enemies.

The possibility that two copies of the Book of Mormon were given out, one to each visitor, is hinted at in the book Figures of the Past From the Leaves of Old Journals by Josiah Quincy Jr. He writes, I have before me some relics of my visit to Nauvoo. Here is the Book of Mormon, bearing the autograph which its alleged discoverer and translator wrote, at my request.

Quincy also shared his impressions about his visit with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He had already traversed the roughest part of the way to that coveted position, he wrote. Born in the lowest ranks of poverty, without book-learning and with the homeliest of all human names, he had made himself at the age of thirty-nine a power upon earth. Of the multitudinous family of Smith, from Adam down (Adam of the “Wealth of Nations,” I mean), none had so won human hearts and shaped human lives as this Joseph. His influence, whether for good or for evil, is potent today, and the end is not yet.

Its thrilling that there is a copy of the Book of Mormon out there with such a wonderful background, said Brother Bascom. Its fascinating to think that it is part of the Quincy Library and interesting how it fits his diary. Establishing these historical moments with historical artifacts dispels a lot of the misconceptions out there that Joseph Smith was not real or Mormonism is fiction.

Sister Bascom said, From the whole experience I was left with this thought: John Adams and his family were part of bringing new freedoms to the people of the United States. Through freedom of religion, the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Jesus Christ were allowed to flourish. This is a token of what Adams fought for and therefore he passed the blessing of the restoration of the gospel on to us. Not a lot of people know how much they have been blessed by his efforts. This is one of the hidden gems about this historical tour.

rmorgenegg@desnews.com

The LDS Church News is an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The publication’s content supports the doctrines, principles and practices of the Church.

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Family News – September 27, 2015

http://josephsmithsr.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/9_27_15_EmailNews.pdf

The First Smith Family Podcast Is Here

A great time to sit and watch the Smith Family Podcast would be during family night or General Conference weekend.

Joseph Smith Sr. Family Association members along with Dr. LeRoy Wirthlin and his wife, Mary, at the Smith home in Norwich, Vermont. Left to right: Daniel & LuAnn Adams, Steve & Frances Orton, Mary & LeRoy Wirthlin, Rosemarie & Dan Larsen, Michael Kennedy, Joyce & Karl Anderson, Julie Maddox, and Laura & Don Blanchard. Picture by Elder Michael Lantz

Joseph Smith Sr. Family Association members along with Dr. LeRoy Wirthlin
and his wife, Mary, at the Smith home in Norwich, Vermont. Left to right:
Daniel & LuAnn Adams, Steve & Frances Orton, Mary & LeRoy Wirthlin,
Rosemarie & Dan Larsen, Michael Kennedy, Joyce & Karl Anderson, Julie
Maddox, and Laura & Don Blanchard. Picture by Elder Michael Lantz

Elder M. Russell Ballard and Wallace B. Smith, Co-Chairs of the Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Family Association desire that the younger generation know the faith-promoting stories of their ancestors.

The Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Family Association presents this podcast to the family and ask you to watch this short ten-minute video during a family night to help build faith in the work of our ancestors and recognize the sacrifices and commitment that fill our heritage.

Share the podcasts with your friends. Use social media to promote these wonderful stories. Our family and friends need to see these messages of faith and determination.


raceJoseph Smith Miracle Scholarship

Since the last email newsletter, the Smith familys efforts have been featured on the Church News and Events page of LDS.org.

Please encourage your friends and neighbors to view this article and others described below. It is our hope that this can be a perpetual scholarship. You can donate here:

donate-here

Our roots come from New England and what a wonderful way to promote Josephs name for good in New England.

To read more about this see the, Deseret News article written by Smith descendant, Julie Maddox.

Check out the Valley News report, Gift Honors Surgery That Saved Religious Leaders Leg. The Geisel News Center issued a press release that explained, Descendants of Joseph Smith,founder of the Mormon Church, have created a scholarship at the Geisel School of Medicine to honor and give thanks for a pioneering surgery that Dartmouths Dr. Nathan Smith performed on young Joseph. To read the full press release.


Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Family
c/o Steve and Frances Orton
381 W 3700 N, Provo UT 84604
Phone: (801) 226?6054 Fax: (801) 452?6567
Email: ortonfrances@gmail.com
Website: http://josephsmithsr.org/

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Smith Family Connecticut Covenant

 

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Defending the Faith: Did Book of Mormon witnesses simply see the golden plates with their ‘spiritual eyes’?

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865629099/The-plates-of-the-Book-of-Mormon-As-material-as-anything-can-be.html

By Daniel Peterson , For the Deseret News
Published: Saturday, May 23 2015 2:27 p.m. MDT

I continually encounter the confident declaration that the witnesses to the Book of Mormon didnt really see or touch anything at all and didnt actually claim to have seen or touched anything. They only saw the plates with their spiritual eyes, Im assured, and spiritual eyes, to them, meant in their imaginations.

I responded to this assertion in a column published five years ago (see “Book of Mormon witness testimonies” published May 25, 2010). However, since the claim continues to be made, and given the fundamental importance of this issue, I address it yet again, in somewhat different fashion.

Ill leave aside the question of whether its even remotely plausible that the witnesses sacrificed so very much for something they recognized as merely imaginary. Lets look at their explicit verbal testimonies. Several of the 11 official witnesses were obviously confronted during their lifetimes with accusations that they had merely hallucinated, and they repeatedly rejected such proposed explanations.

In fact, David Whitmer, one of the initial Three Witnesses, could easily have been addressing todays skeptics when he declared I was not under any hallucination, nor was I deceived! I saw with these eyes and I heard with these ears! I know whereof I speak!

Its difficult to imagine how he could have been any clearer.

In this column, though, Ill focus on the experience of the Eight Witnesses, which seems to have included no explicitly supernatural elements but, rather, to have been a wholly matter-of-fact event.

In late 1839, Hyrum Smith wrote an account for the Times and Seasons newspaper covering, among other things, his four months of hungry and cold imprisonment in Missouris Liberty Jail, under recurring threats of execution, while his family and fellow members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were being driven from their homes during the wintertime:

I thank God, he told the Saints, that I felt a determination to die, rather than deny the things which my eyes had seen, which my hands had handled, and which I had borne testimony to. I can assure my beloved brethren that I was enabled to bear as strong a testimony, when nothing but death presented itself, as ever I did in my life.

One might dismiss this declaration of willingness to die for his testimony as an empty boast, mere retrospective bravado, were it not for the fact that, less than five years later in Illinois, fully understanding the risk, he did in fact go voluntarily to Carthage Jail. There, with his prophet-brother, he died as a martyr which, in ancient Greek, means witness in a hail of bullets.

The accounts left behind by the Eight Witnesses are replete not only with claims to have seen and hefted the plates, to have turned their individual leaves and examined their engravings, but also with estimates of their weight, descriptions of their physical form and the rings that bound them, and reports of their approximate dimensions as well.

Wilhelm Poulsons 1878 interview with John Whitmer provides an excellent summary:

I Did you handle the plates with your hands? He I did so!

“I Then they were a material substance? He Yes, as material as anything can be.

“I They were heavy to lift? He Yes, and you know gold is a heavy metal, they were very heavy.

“I How big were the leaves? He So far as I can recollect, 8 by 6 or 7 inches.

“I Were the leaves thick? He Yes, just so thick, that characters could be engraven on both sides.

“I How were the leaves joined together? He In three rings, each one in the shape of a D with the straight line towards the centre. …

“I Did you see them covered with a cloth? He No. He handed them uncovered into our hands, and we turned the leaves sufficient to satisfy us.

William Smith, who knew the Eight Witnesses well his father and two of his brothers were among them explained they not only saw with their eyes but handled with their hands the said record. Daniel Tyler heard Samuel Smith testify that He knew his brother Joseph had the plates, for the prophet had shown them to him, and he had handled them and seen the engravings thereon.

Those who seek to dismiss the testimony of the Eight Witnesses must, on the whole, flatly brush aside what they actually, and very forcefully, said.

For further evidence and analysis on this topic, see Richard Lloyd Andersons 2005 article Attempts to Redefine the Experience of the Eight Witnesses online at publications.maxwellinstitute.byu.edu.


Daniel Peterson teaches Arabic studies, founded BYUs Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, directs MormonScholarsTestify.org, chairs mormoninterpreter.com, blogs daily at patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson, and speaks only for himself.

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7 Things You Probably Didnt Know about the Prophet Joseph Smith

byScot Facer Proctor

http://ldsmag.com/7-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-the-prophet-joseph-smith/

Please note: Just last week we released an incredible iPad tool www.josephsmithwitness.comthat will completely enhance the way you look at Joseph Smith and the Restorationits more than an app, more than a book, its an experience. One user said: What a gift! I felt like Parley P. Pratt when first reading the Book of Mormon: eating and sleeping held no allure. I read virtually nonstop from cover to cover. The photographs are stunning, the text is moving, and the story riveting. The following are a few fun facts you will glean from Witness of the Light.

Many of us know only a few common facts about Joseph Smith: He was born in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont on December 23, 1805. His fathers name was Joseph Smith. He lived on a farm in western New York when he had the First Vision. The Church was organized on April 6, 1830. Joseph was in the Liberty Jail and he lived in Nauvoo, etc.

Let me give you at least 7 facts you probably didnt know about the Prophet Joseph Smith.

One: Joseph Smith the Prophet lived in no fewer than twenty different homes from his childhood to his death. Of the fourteen homes he lived in after he was married to Emma Hale, they only owned three of them. When Joseph and Emma finally had a home that was all theirs and that they really wantedthe Mansion House in NauvooJoseph would only live in it for 10 months before he would be killed.

Two: During the Kirtland period, Joseph Smith received a cascade of revelations, 67 of which are canonized in the Doctrine and Covenants. Those 67 revelations were received in 10 different specific locations. Forty-six of these revelations were received in just three different rooms; a) fourteen in a room on the Isaac and Lucy Morley Farm; b) fifteen in the John and Elsa Johnson Farmhouse upper room, southeast corner; and, c) seventeen in the southeast upper room in the Newel K. (and Elizabeth) Whitney Store.

Three. It was thought for many years that Joseph Smith was involved in about 50 lawsuits that were leveled against him. With the latest research and compilations it is clear that he was involved in more than 220 cases and in every case was found to give more than lip service to honoring, obeying and sustaining the law. These range from simple collection cases to complex trials. One of those trials led him to a Springfield, Illinois courtroom. If you look in the photograph above, youll see a trap door just above the judges bench. In that upper floor was a small law firm with two young attorneys. One was Stephen T. Logan. The other partner would later become the President of the United StatesAbraham Lincoln. Lincoln appeared before this U.S. District Court concerning 40 regular cases and 72 bankruptcy proceedings. Mary Todd Lincoln attended the trial of Joseph Smith.

Four. Joseph and Emma Hale Smith had eleven children, two of whom were adopted. They lost six of those children to death, four in infancy. Josephs parents, Joseph Smith, Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith also had eleven children. Two of them would die in infancy, then five more sons would die in adulthood: Alvin, Don Carlos, Joseph, Hyrum and Samuel Harrison. Joseph Smith Sr.s parents, Asael and Mary Duty Smith, also had eleven children, all of whom lived to adulthood.

Five. The Angel Moroni visited Joseph Smith (and others) no less than twenty-two times. We are most familiar with the first five visits, then the visit each year at the Hill Cumorah to prepare Joseph to receive the gold plates. That leaves 13 more visits to account. These visits and interviews became an integral part of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon.

Six. The revelation known as the Word of Wisdom was received on Wednesday, February 27, 1833. That date is familiar to us, but we dont often know what led to Josephs receiving that revelation. Twenty-four brethren had been meeting together in what was called the School of the Prophets (or School of the Elders). Twenty-two of those brethren used tobacco. The brethren would, as Brigham Young recounted, light a pipe and begin to talk about the great things of the kingdom and puff away. The room would become filled with thick smoke. Then they would put a wad of tobacco in one side of their mouth, and then the other, and chew away and spit on the floor. Emma Smith had to clean the floors and she was disgusted with the filthiness of these habits. One day she emphatically said to Joseph, It would be a good thing if a revelation could be had declaring the use of tobacco a sin.

Seven. A revelation was given on April 26, 1838 in Far West, Missouri indicating that in one year from that very day, the brethren should recommence laying the foundation of my house then they should take leave for a mission to England from that very spot. In the mean time Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued the Extermination Order and the Latter-day Saints had been driven from the State of Missouri to Illinois. How could they fulfill that directive from the Lord? Risking their lives, five of the Twelve made the dangerous journey, mainly in darkness and in hiding, to fulfill this prophecy. Before the sun arose on April 26, 1839, these faithful member of the Twelve held a meeting with others, quietly sang hymns, laid a huge stone in place in the southeast corner of the Far West Temple site, ordained two new members of the Twelve, Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith, and then took their leave back to Illinois. Many know that part of the story. What is tender is that Joseph and Hyrum, Lyman Wight, Alexander McRae and Caleb Baldwin had escaped from the Liberty Jail on April 6 and were making their way east to Illinois while the other brethren were making their way west to Far West to fulfill the prophecy. This is faith and super faith.

We have created this app, which is more like a book with extras like 230 photos, videos and interactive pages, so that you might have a more thorough knowledge base of Joseph Smith and the Restoration and that you might see this marvelous work and a wonder unfold in beautiful, panoramic form on your iPad.

To take a look at all the features of the App and see many sample pages, please CLICK HERE.

To download the App or to gift the App, using your iPad or your iTunes account, go THIS LINK. Delivery time is immediate.

Please note, if you are on a desktop or PC and you try to go to this link, it will ask you to open your iTunes account. This App is currently designed for and compatible with iPad. An Android version is scheduled to be released sometime the first quarter of 2015.

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16 Stunning Photographs with Eyewitness Accounts to Help you Remember the Martyrdom on this 170th Anniversary

http://www.ldsmag.com/article/1/14541

By Scot Facer Proctor

To LIKE Meridian on Facebook,click here. To subscribe to Meridian’s free updates,click here.

Even the coldest heart is moved by the events that took place in the Carthage Jail on Thursday, June 27, 1844170 years ago today. Joseph died not only as a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, but as a Mayor of one of the largest cities in America, General of the Nauvoo Legion (the largest city militia in the western United States), a declared candidate for President of the United States, and more tenderly, as a husband to Emma Hale Smith and father of eleven children (six then deceased, one yet unborn). Joseph died, as the Prophets of old, as a witness of the Savior of mankind. The following accounts are given to paint a picture of some of the feelings that surround that fateful day in June of 1844. I have added the photographs so you may journey with the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum to Carthage.



Sixteen moves in seventeen years of marriage finally brought Joseph and Emma to this home in Nauvoo. They called it the Mansion House and who in their position wouldnt? It had twenty-two rooms when completed. Joseph would only live here ten months.

Willard, the time will come that the balls will fly around you like hail, and you will see your friends fall on the right and on the left, but there shall not be so much as a hole in your garment.[1](Joseph Smith to Willard Richards, Summer 1843)


Sun sets over the horseshoe bend of the Mississippi River near where Joseph, Hyrum, Willard Richards and Porter Rockwell crossed in a leaky skiff. After Joseph came from his family to leave, his tears were flowing fast. He held a handkerchief to his face, and followed after Brother Hyrum without uttering a word.[2]

The last time I saw the Prophet, he was on his way to Carthage jail…They stopped..at the house of Brother Rosecrans. We were on the porch and could hear every word he said…one sentence I well remember. After bidding good-bye, he said to Brother Rosecrans, If I never see you again, or if I never come back, remember that I love you. This went through me like electricity. I went in the house and threw myself on the bed and wept like a whipped child. And why this grief for a person I had never spoken to in my life, I could not tell. I knew he was a servant of God, and could only think of the danger he was in, and how deeply he felt it[3](Mary Ellen Kimball on June 24, 1844)


Here by the front gate of their fence Joseph said good-bye to Emma and the children for the last time. You will return wont you? Emma purportedly asked Joseph.

[Joseph looking at the Temple site and at the city of Nauvoo on the way to Carthage:] This is the loveliest place and the best people under the heavens; little do they know the trials that await them. [Sometime later that same day on the road to Carthage, Joseph said,] I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summers morning. I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men. If they take my life I shall die an innocent man…and it shall be said of me He was murdered in cold blood.[4](Joseph on the Martyrdom Trail, June 24, 1844)


The Temple walls were approximately 9 feet off the ground when Joseph rode by them on the way to Carthage. Joseph often prayed that he would see the completion of the house of the Lord. Surely that prayer was answered. But not on this side of the veil.

Dear Emma, I am very much resigned to my lot knowing I am justified and have done the best that could be done. Give my love to the children and all my friends…you need not have any fears that any harm can happen to us…may God bless you all, Amen.[5](Handwritten Letter from Joseph to Emma 8:20 a.m., June 27, 1844)


Plowed fields of the original Joseph Smith Farm just outside Nauvoo not far from the Nauvoo Burial Grounds. Here Joseph stopped and gazed upon his land. As they rode away Joseph looked back over and over again. The men escorting him to Carthage told him to be moving on. Joseph said, If some of you had got such a farm and knew you would not see it any more, you would want to take a good look at it for the last time.[6]

…the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.[7](Jesus Christ to the Nephites, concerning Joseph Smith)


Summer afternoon on part of the original 26 miles of the road from Nauvoo to Carthage, now called the Martyrdom Trail.

We have had too much trouble to bring Old Joe here to let him ever escape alive…You’ll see that I can prophesy better than Old Joe, that neither he nor his brother, nor anyone who will remain with them, will see the sun set today.[8](Frank Worrell, Officer of the Guard of Carthage Jail, June 27, 1844)


Joseph, Hyrum, and the others, arrived at this place, the Carthage Jail, around midnight, Monday, June 24, 1844.

[Conversation between Joseph and Dan Jones in the Carthage Jail, past midnight on June 27, 1844:] Brother Dan, are you afraid to die? Joseph asked.

Has that time come, think you? Dan replied. Engaged in such a cause, I do not think that death would have many terrors. Joseph then said, You will see Wales and fulfill the mission appointed you ere you die.[9]


Some of Brother Dan Jones converts from his native Wales would later form a choir that would, over time, become the most famous singing group in all the world: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Early that morning Dan Jones left the jail to meet with Governor Ford. He explained to the governor with great anxiety how the lives of Joseph and Hyrum were in great danger, and the threats that were made towards them, to which Governor Ford replied: You are unnecessarily alarmed for your friends safety, sir. The people are not that cruel.[10] Dan Jones returned to try to reenter the jail but was not allowed. His life was spared; he did fill his mission to Wales, as Joseph prophesied and brought untold thousands into the Church.


That Thursday, June 27, 1844 was especially hot and humid. The air was heavy and the brethrens shirts were wet with perspiration.

Jailer at Carthage, George W. Stigall, heard of the impending danger to the lives of the prisoners (whom he admired and knew were innocent men) and suggested they go from his upstairs bedroom where they had been staying to the inner cell next to the bedroom where they would be safer. Joseph turned to Dr. Willard Richards and said, If we go into the cell, will you go in with us? The doctor answered, Brother Joseph, you did not ask me to cross the river with you-you did not ask me to come to Carthage-you did not ask me to come to jail with you-and do you think I would forsake you now? But I will tell you what I will do: if you are condemned to be hung for treason, I will be hung in your stead, and you shall go free. Joseph said, You cannot. Willard replied, I will.[11] Witnessing this loyalty, Joseph wept.(This conversation took place between Willard Richards and Joseph about 5:00 p.m., less than fifteen minutes before the brutal murders, June 27, 1844)


Original door of jailers bedroom still has the hole (right middle panel) where a ball from one rifle blasted through and hit Hyrum in the left bridge of the nose, felling him to the floor.

A great crime has been done by destroying the Expositor press and placing the city under martial law, and a severe atonement must be made, so prepare your minds for the emergency.[12](Governor Thomas Ford, State of Illinois, June 27, 1844. This was said about the time of the martyrdom while he was in Nauvoo.)


The mob, with faces painted black, rushed up these stairs that fateful Thursday afternoon, rifles loaded, scores of deadly balls were fired through the doorway into the jailers bedroom where Joseph, Hyrum, Willard, and John were imprisoned. Numerous other shots whistled through the open windows.

I felt a dull, lonely, sickening sensation…When I reflected that our noble chieftain, the Prophet of the living God, had fallen, and that I had seen his brother in the cold embrace of death, it seemed as though there was a void or vacuum in the great field of human existence to me, and a dark gloomy chasm in the kingdom, that we were left alone. Oh, how lonely was that feeling! How cold, barren and desolate! In the midst of difficulties he was always the first in motion; in critical positions his counsel was always sought. As our Prophet, he approached our God and obtained for us his will; but now our Prophet, our counselor, our general, our leader was gone, and amid the fiery ordeal that we then had to pass through, we were left alone without his aid, and as our future guide for things spiritual or temporal, and for all things pertaining to this world, or the next, he had spoken for the last time on earth.[13](John Taylor)


Hyrum lay dead on this floor. John had rolled under the bed after being hit with four balls, one of which struck him in the chest at the heart, but was miraculously stopped by his pocket watch. The watch stopped at 16 minutes, 26 seconds after 5 oclock. Joseph tried to escape through the window on the left. He was hit four times, once in the collar bone, once in the breast, and twice in the back. He leaped or fell from the window crying aloud, Oh Lord, my God.!

Had he [Joseph] been spared a martyrs fate till mature manhood and age, he was certainly endued with powers and ability to have revolutionized the world…as it is, his works will live to endless ages, and unnumbered millions yet unborn will mention his name with honor, as a noble instrument…who…laid the foundations of that kingdom spoken of by Daniel, the prophet, which should break in pieces all other kingdoms and stand forever.[14](Parley Parker Pratt)


View of the outside of the Carthage Jail and the well where the mob placed the body of Joseph Smith and fired upon him in a brutal manner at point blank range. With walls between two and two-and-a-half feet thick, the seven-room Carthage Jail was considered by Governor Thomas Ford and others, the only safe place in Hancock County for Joe Smith.

Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.

[15](John Taylor)


D.J. Bawden bronze of Joseph and Hyrum, the Prophet and Patriarch. At the Carthage Jail, at the time of the martyrdom, Joseph was thirty-eight years old and Hyrum, forty-four. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated.[16]

After the corpses were washed and dressed in their burial clothes, we were allowed to see them. I had for a long time braced every nerve, roused every energy of my soul and called upon God to strengthen me, but when I entered the room and saw my murdered sons extended both at once before my eyes and heard the sobs and groans of my family…it was too much: I sank back, crying to the Lord in the agony of my soul, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken this family! A voice replied, I have taken them to myself, that they might have rest…I then thought upon the promise which I had received in Missouri, that in five years Joseph should have power over all his enemies. The time had elapsed and the promise was fulfilled.[17](Lucy Mack Smith, mother of Joseph and Hyrum, June 29, 1844, Nauvoo Illinois)

My Dear Companion…We are in great affliction at this time. Our dear Br. Joseph Smith and Hyrum has fell victims to a ferocious mob. The great God of the Creation only knows whether the rest shall be preserved in safety or not…I have been blessed to keep my feelings quite calm through all the storm. I hope you will be careful on your way home and not expose yourself to those that will endanger your life. Yours in haste. If we meet no more in this world may we meet where parting is no more. Farewell.[18](Mary Ann Angell Young to her husband, Brigham Young, President of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, dated June 30, 1844)


It was from this window where the Prophet Joseph leaped trying to escape the jail or draw fire away from the others. The graze marks from the lead balls that were fired can still be seen in the window sill 170 years later.

We would beseech the Latter Day Saints in Nauvoo, and else where, to hold fast to the faith that has been delivered to them in the last days, abiding in the perfect law of the gospel. Be peaceable, quiet citizens, doing the works of righteousness…Rejoice then, that you are found worthy to live and die for God: men may kill the body, but they cannot hurt the soul.[19](W.W. Phelps, W. Richards, John Taylor, July 1, 1844)

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[1]Smith, Joseph,History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,7 vols. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1980), 6:619 (Hereinafter,History of the Church).

[2]History of the Church,6:547.

[3]The Juvenile Instructor, 15 August 1892, 27: 490-91.

[4]History of the Church,6:554-55.

[5]Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, ed. and comp. Dean C. Jessee (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1984), 611.

[6]History of the Church,6: 558.

[7] 3 Nephi 21:10.

[8] Dan Jones, “The Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith,” 20 January, 1855, handwritten manuscript in the Church Historian’s Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid. See alsoHistory of the Church6:603.

[11]History of the Church6:16.

[12] Ibid. 623.

[13] Ibid. 7:106.

[14] Pratt, Parley P.Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, Revised and Enhanced Edition.Edited by Scot Facer Proctor and Maurine Jensen Proctor. Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 2000, pp. 45, 46.

[15] Doctrine and Covenants 135:3.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Smith, Lucy Mack.Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother.Edited by Scot Facer Proctor and Maurine Jensen Proctor. Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, 1996, pp. 457, 458.

[18] Mary Ann Angell Young to Brigham Young, 30 June, 1844, dated at Nauvoo, Illinois, housed at Church Historian’s Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[19]Times and Seasons,vol. 5, no. 12, (l July 1844): 568

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