175 years ago, a mob murdered two of my greatest heroes. The scene’s played over and over in my mind today.


Joseph and Hyrum Smith

A statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith stands outside Carthage Jail in Carthage, Illinois. Photo by Becky Cardon Smith. | via ChurchofJesusChrist.org

To seal the testimony of this book and the Book of Mormon, we announce the martyrdom of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and Hyrum Smith the Patriarch. They 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 150 to 200 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 both received four balls.


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 a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me—he was murdered in cold blood.”


Hyrum Smith was forty-four years old in February, 1844, and Joseph Smith was thirty-eight 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 this book of Doctrine and Covenants of the church, cost the best blood of the nineteenth century to bring them forth for the salvation of a ruined world; and that if the fire can scathe a green tree for the glory of God, how easy it will burn up the dry trees to purify the vineyard of corruption. They lived for glory; they died for glory; and glory is their eternal reward. From age to age shall their names go down to posterity as gems for the sanctified.

Eternal Glory


“They lived for glory; they died for glory; and glory is their eternal reward.” Through the Lord’s revelations to Joseph, I learned that glory is light and truth.


The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. Light and truth forsake that evil one.

Joseph Smith First VisionJoseph repeatedly testified of God’s glory. As I’ve studied the Doctrine and Covenants and Book of Mormon, the most consistent theme I see is that by applying Jesus Christ’s atoning blood and receiving the Holy Ghost, we can be sanctified and come into God’s presence. Revelations teach us how we can experience the glory of God.

And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.

Ask of God


Joseph Smith in Liberty JailJoseph taught me that I should acknowledge my lack of wisdom and ask God for answers through prayer.


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.


I remember my first real mighty prayer when I was eight. I read the Book of Mormon and took Moroni’s challenge.


And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.


As I knelt on my bed, determined to wait there forever until I got an answer—which I knew I would get, because Joseph received an answer—I heard a clear answer come to my mind. “Delisa, you already know it’s true.”


That wasn’t the answer I expected to get. I just expected a “yes” or some warm feeling. But I knew that statement was true. I’d known the Book of Mormon and Bible were the word of God for as long as I could remember. I couldn’t remember a moment without those gifts of God impacting my young life.


That simple experience became my foundation for acquiring truth. My curiosity became insatiable. I read and studied and pondered which increased my gratitude for the clarity of precious truths the Lord made available through Joseph Smith.


Joseph’s Sacrifice


Joseph Smith Jr.

He accomplished so much. He revealed so much. He yearned for Zion so much. He wanted everyone to experience what he did so much. He sacrificed so much.


“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….”


Joseph’s life and sacrifice overwhelm my senses and rational thought.


Praise be to God for His infinite love for mankind, to give His Only Begotten Son that we might not perish, to send prophets into the world to show us the pathway back to Him, to create a way for us to communicate and be led by Him directly.


To Know By the Power of God


I take the Lord’s counsel to Martin Harris as counsel to myself.


To read more of Delisa’s articles, click here.

[If] he will bow down before me, and humble himself in mighty prayer and faith, in the sincerity of his heart, then will I grant unto him a view of the things which he desires to see.

And then he shall say unto the people of this generation: Behold, I have seen the things which the Lord hath shown unto Joseph Smith, Jun., and I know of a surety that they are true, for I have seen them, for they have been shown unto me by the power of God and not of man.

175 years after he gave his life for light, truth, and glory, I say, “Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!

About Delisa Hargrove
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.

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