[5]:v7,p102, Most accounts seem to agree that at least three mob members were wounded by Smith's gunfire, but there is no other evidence that any of them died as a result. I believe we all drank of the wine, and gave some to one or two of the prison guards. Shortly after the events occurred, Taylor wrote that he heard that two of the attackers died when Smith shot them with his pistol. At the time of the Smiths' deaths, he was estranged from Smith due to differences in doctrinal beliefs. When I visited the jail in 1980, the glass frame had been removed. Soon afterwards, Taylor “saw a number of men, with painted faces, coming around the corner of the jail, and aiming towards the stairs.” Immediately Willard Richards and Hyrum Smith leaned against the door to prevent the mob from entering the room. Ford denied this, but he later wrote that it was good for the Mormons to have been driven out of the state and said that their beliefs and actions were too different to have survived in Illinois. Joseph Smith, Sr., and Lucy Mack were married in 1796 at Tunbridge, Vermont. Joseph Smith married Emma Hale on 18 January 1827. They resolved to publish their views and to ‘expose’ the secret and abominable teachings of the Mormon hierarchy in an opposition newspaper, to be named The Nauvoo Expositor. From that moment on everything changed, making any comparison to an innocent lamb or a willing martyr a perversion of the facts. LET IT BE MADE WITH POWDER AND BALL!!! "[8], Under the Council's new ordinance, Smith, as Nauvoo's mayor, in conjunction with the City Council, ordered the city marshal to destroy the Expositor and its press on June 10, 1844. I can, to a point, agree with Mormons who say that Smith was murdered in cold blood, but I’m uncomfortable with going so far as to say he was totally innocent. Initially, the primary contenders to succeed Smith were Sidney Rigdon, Brigham Young, and James Strang. Richards had escaped all harm except for a bullet grazing his ear. The apostle Paul or Joseph Smith? The outstanding charges against him were for illegal sex crimes, financial crimes, and crimes of violence. But because Wells did not have authority in such a case, this led to a third examination. According to the testimony of John Taylor, Smith commented. The watch is displayed in the LDS Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah; the watch was broken and was used to help identify the time of the attack. In a conference message delivered in 1948, Seventy Milton R. Hunter said Smith decided not to flee Nauvoo as a result “of his deep love for the Saints.” Hunter said he returned voluntarily “to give his life as a sacrifice for them” (Conference Report, April 1948, p.31, emphasis mine). I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me. Apostle Pratt wrote of hearing that a “Mr. We all of us felt unusually dull and languid, with a remarkable depression of spirits. Heber J. Joseph Smith was shot multiple times by an angry mob both while in the second story window of Carthage Jail in Illinois, and on the ground after falling from it. Was Smith wrong in trying to defend himself? Frederick Granger Williams Smith. On June 7 they issued the first and only edition of their paper.”. From the Life of Joseph Smith. The judge ordered the Smith brothers to be held in jail until they could be tried for treason, which was a capital offense. for I will come out on the top at last. If Smith really chose to cite Isaiah 53:7 to describe his impending death as being similar in details to that of Jesus Christ, why do we not see this? His death marked a turning point for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and since then, members of the Latter Day Saint movement have generally viewed him and his brother as religious martyrs who were "murdered in cold blood". Hyrum was killed almost immediately when he was shot in the face, shouting as he fell, "I'm a dead man, Joseph!" Some accounts say Smith may have had sexual relations with one wife, who later in her life stated that he fathered children by one or two of his wives. Foster, a co-publisher of the Expositor, reported on June 12 that not only was the printing press destroyed, but that "several hundred minions ... injured the building very materially". In his book Nauvoo: Kingdom on the Mississippi, author Robert B. Flanders lays the groundwork for what was to become one of the darker days in Mormon history. On page 52, Oaks and Hill include the following: Wills, Voras, and Gallaher were probably named in the indictment because their wounds, which testimony showed were received at the jail, were irrefutable evidence that they had participated in the mob. Joseph Smith (1805–1844), the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, secretly taught and practiced polygamy during his ministry, and married multiple women during his lifetime. Orrin Porter Rockwell arrived with a message from his wife who urged her husband to return and give himself up because several of his followers were accusing him of cowardice. There was an urgency to keep records even though the circumstances were perilous. Joseph and Hyrum Smith's bodies were returned to Nauvoo the next day. For more, check out The “Martyrdom” of Joseph Smith. He died almost immediately. According to Smith, an angel named Moroni directed him to a buried book of golden plates hidden at the Hill Cumorah and as per the instruction of the angel he translated the book and published it as the ‘Book of Mormon’. It would indeed be difficult to know for sure what exactly Smith meant by his reference to Isaiah 53:7, but we do know that several Mormons have made the messianic connection. [14] Upon arrival at Carthage, almost immediately the Smith brothers were charged with treason against the State of Illinois for declaring martial law in Nauvoo, by a warrant founded upon the oaths of A. O. Norton and Augustine Spencer. Also, listen to the following Viewpoint on Mormonism podcasts: Your generous support makes the work of MRM possible. In the preface of volume one (page x) he notes that the manuscript was reviewed by several prominent leaders in the LDS Church, including members of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve. The mob acted outside of the law and, in my opinion, their actions can in no way be justified. A number of prominent men withdrew and formed their own reform church. It was a typically hot, early summer day in western Illinois when Joseph and Hyrum Smith rode into Carthage to turn themselves in to local authorities. Smith declared martial law on June 18[11] and called out the Nauvoo Legion, an organized city militia of about 5,000 men,[12] to protect Nauvoo from outside violence.[11]. Taylor eventually became the third president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Bereavement at the death of loved ones repeatedly touched the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Five men were indicted for the killings but were acquitted at a jury trial. [37] Wills, Vorhease, Gallaher, and a Mr. Allen (possibly the fourth man) were all indicted for the murder of the Smith brothers. [4], Several of Smith's disaffected associates in Hancock County and the city of Nauvoo, Illinois, where Smith was mayor, joined together to publish a newspaper called the Nauvoo Expositor. My family lived in Carthage at the time of his death, and it's been passed down in my family that he stole cattle from the farms, tried for squatters rights on people's property, and was thrown in jail for it. Information from Joseph Smith—History, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, JosephSmith.net, and History of the Church. Some have alleged that the context of this statement was an attempt by Smith to use a Masonic distress signal. See also The Gospel Kingdom, p.358). On the afternoon of June 27th, the Smiths, Willard Richards, and John Taylor were in this latter “cell” when, in the words of John Taylor. Perhaps not. Alvin SMITH was born February 11, 1798, in Tunbridge, Vermont, and died November 19, 1823, in Manchester Township, New York, at the age of 25. John Taylor also testified:“Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock came in to … On June 23, a posse under the command of Governor Ford entered Nauvoo to execute an arrest warrant, but they were unable to locate Smith. “God is in the still small voice. To hear Mormons tell the story, Smith did no wrong; for others, he did no right. Joseph's younger brother Samuel Harrison Smith had come to visit the same day and, after evading capture from a group of attackers, is said to have been the first Mormon to arrive and helped attend the bodies back to Nauvoo. ye false swearers! "[13] On June 25, 1844, Joseph and his brother Hyrum, along with the other fifteen Council members and some friends, surrendered to Carthage constable William Bettisworth on the original charge of riot. After surrendering to authorities, the brothers were also charged with treason against Illinois for declaring martial law. Smith declared martial law in Nauvoo and called on the Nauvoo Legion to protect the city. In consonance with those feelings I sang a song, that had lately been introduced into Nauvoo, entitled, ‘A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief’, etc.“ (7:101). Smith, therefore, did not. Paul states that no man can see God (the Father). Hyrum Smith, the Assistant President of the Church, was intended to succeed Joseph as President of the Church,[43] but because he was killed with his brother, the proper succession procedure became unclear. They were led by William Law, a member of the First Presidency since 1841, Wilson Law, a brigadier general in the Legion, Austin Cowles, a member of the Nauvoo High Council, James Blakeslee, a prominent Seventy, and Robert D. Foster, Chauncey Higbee, and Charles Ivins, prominent businessmen. Named after Joseph’s close friend and first counselor in the First Presidency, Frederick G. Williams, the second surviving son of the Joseph Smith Jr. family was born in … The anti-Mormon[4] "Carthage Greys", a local militia, were assigned to protect the Smiths. [citation needed], The Smith brothers were held at the Carthage Jail and were joined there by Willard Richards, John Taylor, and John Solomon Fullmer. In his letter Governor Ford also promised Smith and the others that they would “be protected from violence.”. In a 1-star review of Mormonism 101 from an LDS reader on Amazon.com, the reviewer rebuts our criticism of Smith’s use of Isaiah 53:7. [5]:v6,p620 Taylor and Richards' accounts both report that as Smith fell from the window, he called out, "Oh Lord, my God!". It has been reported by some that this was taken as a sacrament. The bodies were cleaned and examined, and death masks were made, preserving their facial features and structures. Strang claimed that Smith designated him as the successor in a letter that was received a week before Smith's death. It was no such thing; our spirits were generally dull and heavy, and it was sent for to revive us. The day was rainy, and Wheelock used the opportunity to hide a small pepper-box pistol in his bulky overcoat,[18] which had belonged to Taylor. How did Joseph Smith die? [9], Smith's critics said that the action of destroying the press violated freedom of the press. A member of the mob fired a shot through the door. His grandfather, Asael Smith, lost most of his property in Topsfield, Massachusetts, during the economic … Religious services were still banned at the time of his death [because of the pandemic], and no public funeral was held. Is it wrong for Mormons to portray his last moments as that of an innocent lamb and willing martyr? Emma Smith invited Emily to live in the Smith home to care for the Smiths’ baby, Don Carlos, who was born 13 June 1840. "[22] Smith did not know that Jonathan Dunham, major general of the Nauvoo Legion, had not dispatched the unit to Carthage to protect him. When Roberts was commissioned by the LDS First Presidency to produce what came to be known as History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a., History of the Church, or Documentary History of the Church), he again chose to include Taylor’s remark when this seven-volume set began being published in 1902. Alvin’s Life and Death. In 1928, Frederick M. Smith, president of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church) and grandson of Joseph Smith, feared that rising water from the Mississippi River would destroy the grave site. Richards dragged Taylor into the jail cell (they had not been held in the cell, but in the guard's room across the hallway). When he was 24, Smith published the Book of Mormon. Smith returned to Nauvoo, spent the night, and in the morning was told that he had to report to Carthage by 10 a.m. [22] The mob first attempted to push the door open to fire into the room, though Smith and the other prisoners pushed back and prevented this. [24], Smith, Taylor, and Richards attempted to defend themselves. As mayor of the city of Nauvoo, Illinois, Joseph Smith had ordered the destruction of the facilities used to print the Nauvoo Expositor, a newly established newspaper created by a group of non-Mormons and others who had seceded from the church. Joseph Smith, originally Joseph Smith, Jr., (born December 23, 1805, Sharon, Vermont, U.S.—died June 27, 1844, Carthage, Illinois), American prophet and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.. However, Charles A. “Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock came in to see us, and when he was about leaving, drew a small pistol, a six-shooter, from his pocket, remarking at the same time ‘Would any of you like to have this?’ Brother Joseph immediately replied, ‘Yes, give it to me,’ whereupon he took the pistol, and put it in his pantaloons pocket. Conflict over the issues of plurality of wives and other ‘ultraist’ doctrines, including plurality of gods, had grown within the circle of Mormon leaders until an open break occurred in the spring of 1844. Van Buren said he could do nothing to help. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me—he was murdered in cold blood. In an April 5, 1896 conference address, Franklin D. Richards said, “Well before the temple was completed our Prophet laid down his life, having been led like a lamb to the slaughter” (Collected Discourses 5:109). After the Mormons' expulsion from the neighboring state of Missouri during the 1838 Mormon War, Joseph Smith went to Washington, D.C., and met with President Martin Van Buren, seeking intervention and compensation for lost property. They undoubtedly recognized their vulnerability and fled the county. Governor Ford was accused of knowing about the plot to kill Smith. Hyrum was shot in the face, just to the left of his nose, which threw him to the floor. Matt: No. This rash decision caused the publishers to go to the nearby town of Carthage to obtain an arrest warrant for Smith and the council, charging them with riot. Young, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, claimed authority was handed by Smith to the Quorum. Like most stories, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. In order to have this matter settled, Ford believed that Smith and the others who were originally charged should submit themselves to the constable at Carthage (David Bettisworth) and there await trial. The Expositor further reported that eight of Smith's wives had already been married to other men (four were Mormon men in good standing, who in a few cases acted as witnesses in Smith's marriage to his wife) at the time they married Smith. How did Joseph Smith die? Warrants from outside Nauvoo were brought in against Smith and dismissed in Nauvoo courts on a writ of habeas corpus. There were no bars on this room, and the door was so warped that it would not latch. In the 1860s, those who felt that Smith should have been succeeded by Joseph Smith III established the RLDS Church, which later changed its name to the Community of Christ. He authorized civil engineer William O. Smith and some of the leading quorums of his church publicly denied he taught or practiced it.. Joseph Smith Jr. (December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. Joseph Smith was arrested on several occasions, and in 1844 a jail where he and his brother was being held was attacked by an armed mob, and both men were shot and killed. Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith was a farm boy from New York who, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe, was selected by God to be a prophet. “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning. Later, others came to believe that Smith's son, Joseph Smith III, was the rightful successor under the doctrine of lineal succession. Both Richards and Taylor survived. When they arrived, the two checked into a local hotel but were later met by Constable Bettisworth, who placed them under arrest and escorted them to the local jail. The destruction of the press led to public outrage, and the Smith brothers and other members of the Nauvoo City Council were charged with inciting a riot. When it was learned that the municipal court had no right to decide such a case, the defendants were then examined by Justice Daniel H. Wells. ‘He was murdered in cold blood'” (D&C 135:4). Doctrine and Covenants / Pearl of Great Price, Mormon Objections to Christian Evangelism, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, 175th Anniversary of Joseph Smith’s Death. Joseph had three clerks recording events prior to his death. [5]:v6,p430 Based on allegations by some of these associates, the newspaper reported that Smith practiced polygamy and that he tried to marry wives of some of his associates. Richards, 1844; D&C 135; Oaks and Hill, 1979; Quinn, 1994. Joseph Smith was shot near the window, not the door. Joseph Smith boasted that he did more than Jesus to keep a church together. 49 A premature birth took their first son, but in 1798 a second was born to them, and lived. Did Joseph Smith manipulate women into marrying him? *Infant son SMITH was born and died in 1797, Tunbridge, Vermont. 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