In Memory of Joseph and Hyrum Smith
Assassinated June 27, 1844
"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." (Lucy Smith, Joseph Smith the Prophet and His Progenitors, 355)
"Joseph Smith the prophet and Hyrum Smith the patriarch . . . were shot in Carthage jail on the 27th of June, 1844, about five o'clock p.m., by an armed mob, painted black—of from one hundred and fifty to two hundred persons.
"Hyrum was shot first, and fell, calmly exclaiming, "I am a dead man!" Joseph leaped from the window, and was shot dead in the attempt, exclaiming, "O Lord my God!" They were both shot after they were dead, in a brutal manner, and each received four balls.
"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. In the short space of twenty years he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents: has sent the fullness of the everlasting gospel which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments, which compose this Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter Day Saints; founded a great city, and left a fame and name that can not be slain.
"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 works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!
"When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his assassination, he said: 'I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as the summer's morning; I have a conscience void of offense, toward God, and toward all men—I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me, he was murdered in cold blood.' "
"Hyrum Smith was 44 years old February, 1844, and Joseph Smith was 38 in December, 1843, and henceforward their names will be classed among the martyrs of religion; and the reader in every nation, will be reminded that the "Book of Mormon" and [the] Book of Doctrine and Covenants of the church, cost the best blood of the nineteenth century, to bring it forth for the salvation of a ruined world. (Doctrine and Covenants 113:1–4b, 6a–b)
Jesus Christ's Words to the Persecuted
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye are of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
"Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me" (John 15:18–21).
"Blessed are all they that are persecuted for my name's sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. For ye shall have great joy, and be exceeding glad; for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" (Matthew 5:12–14).
Joseph and Hyrum's Legacy of Faith
We thank the, O God, for a prophet
To guide us in these latter days;
We thank the for sending the gospel
To lighten our minds with its rays;
We thank the for every blessing
Bestowed by the bounteous hands;
We feel it a pleasure to serve thee,
And love to obey thy commands.
When dark clouds of trouble hang o'er us
And threaten our peace to destroy,
There is hope smiling brightly before us,
And we know that deliverance is nigh.
We doubt not the Lord nor his goodness,
We've proved him in days that are past;
The wicked who fight against Zion
Will surely be smitten at last.
We'll sing of his goodness and mercy,
We'll praise him by day and by night,
Rejoice in his glorious gospel,
And bask in its life-giving light.
Thus on to eternal perfection
The honest and faithful will go,
While they who reject this glad message
Shall never such happiness know.
By William Fowler