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Posts Tagged ‘martyrdom of Joseph Smith’

 November 20 – Defining Martyrdom. Hebrews 11:36-38; “And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”

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Carthage 4Journal of Discourses 1:40-41; “Joseph Smith was not killed because he was deserving of it, nor because he was a wicked man; but because he was a virtuous man. I know that to be so, as well as I know that the sun now shines. … Joseph Smith was the subject of forty-eight lawsuits, and the most of them I witnessed with my own eyes; but not one action could ever be made to bear against him. No law or constitutional right did he ever violate. He was innocent and virtuous; he kept the law of his country, and lived above it; out of forty-eight lawsuits (and I was with him in the most of them), not one charge could be substantiated against him. He was pure, just, and holy, as to the keeping of the law. Now this I state for the satisfaction of those who do not know our history; but the Lord and the angels know all about it.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, July 11, 1852

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stickman thinking 3As everyone knows, today marks the anniversary of Joseph Smith’s death. While I’ve been reading the various e-mails they reminded me of how it once filled me with pride and a great sense of indignation that anyone would kill God’s prophet.

It never crossed my mind as a Mormon what his death did for me personally. That thought didn’t cross my mind until after I’d left my heritage so I’m posing the question here for the Mormons today.

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Jan HusI’m becoming quite fond of a website called The Domain for Truth as of late. I’ve only visited it a few times, but find that each time I do I lose track of time while reading thought provoking articles.

This time around I checked out the article on their front page called “Presupposed Pain, the Preeminence of God in the Persecution of Jan Hus”.  I highly recommend and urge all Christians to read this, but especially Mormons.

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Joseph Smith Gives His Life

Ensign, June 1994 page 22; The life of Joseph Smith was in some degree patterned after that of the Master, Jesus Christ. That pattern holds true even when extended to its tragic conclusion. Like his Master, Joseph Smith also shed his blood in order that the final testament, the reestablishment of the new convenat, might be in full effect.” – Robert Millet

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November 20 – Hebrews 11:36-38; “And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”

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The above scriptures are a classic example of what it means to be a martyr.  It means that you don’t fight back; you don’t have the mentality of “kill or be killed”.  You die willingly for the sake of the gospel.   Notice how Joseph and Hyrum Smith died and see if they qualify.

I’ve had people in the LDS Church tell me that Joseph died for the Mormon people and my question is always the same.  What did Joseph’s death personally do for you?

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“I shall never forget the deep feeling of sympathy and regard manifested in the countenance of Brother Joseph as he drew nigh to Hyrum, and, leaning over him, exclaimed, ‘Oh! my poor, dear brother Hyrum!’ He, however, instantly arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died.”  Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7: 102 – 103.  The 3rd President of the Church, John Taylor made the above statements.

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