There is a song called “Praise to the Man,” written by William W. Phelps and put to an old Scottish folk song. William W. Phelps was in Carthage jail himself, when Joseph Smith, Jr. and his brother, Hyrum, were assassinated. He suffered greatly as he watched the Prophet and Patriarch fall to the brutal bullets.

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What is it we have today because of Joseph Smith, Jr.? A 14-year-old boy went into a grove of trees to follow the admonition of James 1:5: “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. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”

And so that young teenage boy knelt and asked to know which of all the churches was true. He had such faith he knew he would get the answer. He didn’t know God the Father and Jesus Christ would appear. Nor did he know he would hear the Father speak, Behold, this is my beloved Son, Hear Him.”

Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.
Blessed to open the last dispensation,
Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.

Joseph learned far more than he had ever planned to learn. He learned the God was not an ethereal being, but two distinct and separate personages, God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ. (See Articles of Faith v.1) He learned each of us matters to our Heavenly Father and Savior. He learned when asking in sincere prayer, prayers are answered. He learned the Church of Jesus Christ was not on the earth at that time . . . many,

There are seven dispensations of times, seven thousand years during which mankind has been on the earth. “Dispensations are time periods in which the Lord has at least one authorized servant on the earth who bears the holy priesthood and the keys, and who has a divine commission to dispense the gospel to the inhabitants of the earth.” (See Gospel Topics-Dispensations) Joseph Smith, Jr. was foreordained to restore Christ’s church on the earth, ushering in the last dispensation prior to the Lord’s millennial reign.

“Nothing like it had ever happened before. One is led to wonder why it was so important that both the Father and the Son appear. I think it was because They were ushering in the dispensation of the fulness of times, the last and final dispensation of the gospel, when there would be gathered together in one the elements of all previous dispensations. This was to be the final chapter in the long chronicle of God’s dealing with men and women upon the earth.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 83–86)

Because of Joseph Smith, Jr. and his utter, complete humility in believing he would receive an answer in that sacred grove in 1820, we now have:

“Now, as we look back 177 years to the organization of the Church, we marvel at what has already happened. When the Church was organized in 1830 there were but six members, only a handful of believers, all residing in a largely unknown village. Today, we have become the fourth or fifth largest church in North America, with congregations in every city of any consequence. Stakes of Zion today flourish in every state of the United States, in every province of Canada, in every state of Mexico, in every nation of Central America and throughout South America.

“Congregations are found throughout the British Isles and Europe, where thousands have joined the Church through the years. This work has reached out to the Baltic nations and on down through Bulgaria and Albania and other areas of that part of the world. It reaches across the vast area of Russia. It reaches up into Mongolia and all down through the nations of Asia into the islands of the Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand, and into India and Indonesia. It is flourishing in many of the nations of Africa.

“Our general conferences are carried by satellite and other means in 92 different languages.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 83–86)

Over 13,000,000 Mormons live in over 92 nations around the world. 136 temples are built or are being built around the world. More than 60,000 full-time missionaries teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. The Book of Mormon is translated into more than 80 languages. No, there are not just six of us anymore. Joseph Smith, Jr. and the other five who formally formed the Church on April 6, 1830 began the restoration and now, we continue to build on that legacy.

Praise to his memory, he died as a martyr;
Honored and blest be his ever great name!
Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins,
Plead unto heav’n while the earth lauds his fame.

June 27, 1845 was a tragic and sorrowful day in Mormon history. On this day, shortly after 5:00 p.m. in the evening, Joseph Smith, Jr. and his brother, Hyrum were assassinated by a mob, with their faces painted black. They were shot to death, and then shots continued to be fired into their bodies after they were dead.

The mobbers believed the Mormon Church would now fall because they had murdered our prophet and patriarch. The Lord’s work cannot be stopped. Not even by wicked, vile men driven by greed and hate, thoroughly under the influence of that old dragon, Satan.

We do not worship Joseph Smith, Jr., but we love and revere him for the sacrifices he made in bringing the restoration about. He was arrested on false pretenses over 43 times. He was tarred and feathered multiple times. He and Emma lost six children at their births or in their infancy. They moved and moved and moved, driven from city to city and state to state. Has anyone besides a Mormon stopped to think, he never gave up. He never recanted his statement that he’d seen Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He never turned from the course laid about for him by the Savior. Despite all Satan and those under his influence could throw at him, he never faltered. Joseph Smith, Jr. got up every day and testified of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. Are those the actions of a liar? I submit to you, No.

Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom,
Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.

Because of what we know and understand about premortality, mortality and the eternities to come, we know Joseph is beyond the reach of his persecutors and murderers now. We know that he labors day and night, such as those time periods may be in heaven, to continue teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to every single child of God since the beginning of our known reality. We know he served his Lord and Savior in an honorable and faithful fashion. And we know that because of Joseph we have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives now.

Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
Earth must atone for the blood of that man.
Wake up the world for the conflict of justice.
Millions shall know “Brother Joseph” again.

There will come a day, when all who have fought against Christ will have to stand before Him and explain what they did with their stewardship. And what will they answer?

ng thine example Lord. I tried to live my life according to the truths I had and did the best I could every day of my life. I followed in thy footsteps Lord and hope that I have served thee every day of my life in the way thou wouldst have wanted me to do.

— or —

I stood at the pulpit and railed against thy Church Lord, for it was filled evil and wicked people who pretended You were their Lord and Savior. They even behaved as if they were thy people Lord. They sought after thee in name only Lord. Yes, they taught of thee. Yes, they lived their lives according to thy will. Yes, they fed and clothed the hungry, the widowed, the orphans, the poor. Yes, they shouted to the world of thy divinity, Lord. Yes, they built temples and redeemed their dead. But they were not Christians and I spent all my time fighting against them, spitting vitriol and anger across the pulpit.

I testify to you now, from the words of the scriptures I will quote: “by their fruits ye shall known them.” (Matthew 7:16,20) That which is of Jesus Christ is light, love and hope. That which is of the adversary is misery, darkness and hate.

Chorus: Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again.

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