Joseph smith fireside sharon vermont


Published on

Church History Tour July 9-20 w/Dr. Doug Maughan LDS World Travel Document

Published in: Spiritual
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Joseph smith fireside sharon vermont

  1. 1. Joseph Smith Fireside Sharon Vermont – July 9, 2013 Joseph Smiths Personality Nature and Character: You don't know me; you never knew my heart. No man knows my history. I cannot tell it: I shall never undertake it. I don't blame anyone for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I would not have believed it myself. I never did harm any man since I was born in the world. My voice is always for peace. I cannot lie down until all my work is finished. I never think any evil, nor do anything to the harm of my fellow-man. When I am called by the trump of the archangel and weighed in the balance, you will all know me then. I add no more. God bless you all. Amen. Joseph Smith's King Follet Sermon (As printed in History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 302-317)[This sermon was also reprinted in the April and May issues of the 1971 Ensign.] Because of the Joseph Smith Papers project we can come to know brother Joseph Again… as no generation has ever known him even his own… There is a white light brilliance about his life…his is the witness of the return of the king… even the light of the world, the Savior and Redeemer, the Wonderful counselor the mighty God the Prince of peace the everlasting Father…the merciful Jehovah who’s tender mercies are renewed every morning… ―Meditation in a Toolshed‖- C. S. Lewis I was standing today in the dark toolshed. The sun was shining outside and through the crack at the top of the door there came a sunbeam. From where I stood that beam of light, with the specks of dust floating in it, was the most striking thing in the place. Everything else was almost pitch-black. I was seeing the beam, not seeing things by it. Then I moved, so that the beam fell on my eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture
  2. 2. vanished. I saw no toolshed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 90 odd million miles away, the sun. Looking along the beam, and looking at the beam are very different experiences. The long night of darkness and apostasy ended in a pillar of light in which stood the light of the world. A young boys pray was answered on a beautiful clear day in the spring of 1820…will we like at the the man the beam fell upon or long the Beam to see the light of the world? The World of Joseph Smith’s Day: Darkness, Silence and Solitude… The world of Joseph Smith was different from our own in other ways. For example, he did not have modern products such as shampoo or deodorant. The ability to shower and change into clean clothes every day did not exist for most people living during the premodern period. Most people living in the premodern world had no regular dental care, no orthodontics. Life expectancy was less than twenty years of age in the early nineteenth century, and the infant mortality rate was remarkably high. In a day before antibiotics, this is not surprising. Today, few parents expect to bury a child; in the past, few parents escaped this terrible duty. By the end of the nineteenth century, these numbers had shifted dramatically with the advances of technology that provided clean water, medicine, and better nutrition. Joseph Smith’s world was often open to public view. Despite moments of personal solitude, family life was rather transparent, especially for the Smith family. They lived in small, crowded homes most of their lives, and during several years of their married life, Joseph and Emma lived with other people, sharing a home with a number of people. Joseph’s neighbors saw him walk to the outhouse in the backyard. Today halls, bedrooms, and locked doors create modern privacy largely unknown in the premodern world. People in Joseph Smith’s time witnessed the natural rhythms of life in a way most people today have likely not experienced. They watched children being born and people dying in their homes. Friends and family of the Prophet saw him sick, tired, irritated, even angry. They also saw him happy, playful, joyful, enthusiastic, solemn, and prayerful. They saw him dressed in his Sunday best, but also sometimes in tattered clothes. Three prominent visitors—Josiah Quincy, future mayor of Boston; Charles Francis Adams, the son and grandson of two former presidents of the United States (John Quincy Adams and John Adams); and Dr. William G. Goforth, representative of the national Whig Party who had come to Nauvoo seeking votes for presidential candidate Henry Clay—stopped in Nauvoo just before the Prophet died in 1844. After their visit to Nauvoo, Quincy told their story about visiting the Mormon Prophet: Pre-eminent among the stragglers by the door stood a man of commanding appearance, clad in the costume of a journeyman carpenter when about his work. He was a hearty, athletic fellow, with blue eyes standing prominently out upon his light
  3. 3. complexion, a long nose, and a retreating forehead. He wore striped pantaloons, a linen jacket, which had not lately seen the washtub, and a beard of some three days’ growth. This was the founder of the religion which had been preached in every quarter of the earth. As Dr. Goforth introduced us to the prophet, he mentioned the parentage of my companion. ―God bless you, to begin with!‖ said Joseph Smith, raising his hands in the air and letting them descend upon the shoulders of Mr. Adams.1805–19: The Early Years, Richard Neitzel Holzapfel Scriptures Related to the Restoration and Mission of Joseph Smith: D&C 128:19-21 19 Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them! 20 And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophets—the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book! The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light! The voice of Peter, James, and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times! 21 And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old Father Whitmer, in Fayette, Seneca county, and at sundry times, and in divers places through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the present time, all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little; giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope! 22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free. 23 Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!
  4. 4. 24 Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand; and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth? Eph. 1:9-10 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: … 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: D&C 5:9-11 9 Behold, verily I say unto you, I have reserved those things which I have entrusted unto you, my servant Joseph, for a wise purpose in me, and it shall be made known unto future generations; 10 But this generation shall have my word through you; 11 And in addition to your testimony, the testimony of three of my servants, whom I shall call and ordain, Isa. 29:11-14 11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: 12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. 13 ¶ Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: 14 Therefore, behold, I will (through Joseph) proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Acts 3:20-21 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. D&C 76:18-25
  5. 5. 18 Now this caused us to marvel, for it was given unto us of the Spirit. 19 And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about. 20 And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness; 21 And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever. 22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! 23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father— 24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God. JSH 1 15 After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. 16 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being— just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. 17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! D&C 135:3 3 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 fulness 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 cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the
  6. 6. Lord's anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated Personal Witness of the Restoration: Boyd K. Packer Osorno, Chile –Bears witness of the Risen Lord Hermono Canipan Puerto Mont Chile- 1980 A witness of the Book of Mormon and the Disciples of Christ in the Americas Joseph Smith (see also Book of Mormon; Prophets, Mission of; Restoration of the Gospel; BD Joseph Smith Translation) Isa. 11:1 (2 Ne. 21:1; D&C 113:1–6) shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse Isa. 29:12 (2 Ne. 27:10–11, 15–20, 23–26; JS-H 1:63–65) book is delivered to him that is not learned Mal. 3:1 (3:2–4; D&C 110:13–16) send my messenger ... prepare the way 2 Ne. 3:11 (3:11–13; Ezek. 37:16–20) a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins 2 Ne. 3:15 his name shall be called after me, and ... after the name of his father D&C 1:17 (19:13) called upon my servant J.S. ... spake unto him from heaven D&C 1:29 J.S. ... power to translate D&C 13:1 (27:7–8; JS-H 1:68–72) Upon you my fellow servants ... I confer the Priesthood of Aaron D&C 20:2 J.S. ... ordained an apostle ... first elder D&C 27:12 Peter, and James, and John ... by whom I have ordained you ... to be apostles D&C 27:13 Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom D&C 28:2 no one shall be appointed to receive commandments ... excepting ... J.S. D&C 76:23 we saw ... the Only Begotten of the Father D&C 84:3 Which city shall be ... dedicated by the hand of J.S. D&C 110:2 (110:1–10) We saw the Lord D&C 110:11 Moses ... committed unto us the keys of the gathering D&C 110:12 (27:7) Elias ... committed the dispensation ... of Abraham D&C 124:125 J. to be presiding elder ... a translator, a revelator, a seer, and prophet D&C 135:3 J.S. ... has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation JS-H 1:17 I saw two Personages JS-H 1:71 baptized ... and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood See also Rev. 14:6–7; 2 Ne. 3:18; D&C 18:7; 21:1–4; 27:5; 88:103; 100:9; 128:20; JS-H 1:29– 35.
  7. 7. Recollections and Statements that reveal the Personality and Character of Joseph Smith: “Would to God, brethren, I could tell you who I am! Would to God I could tell you what I know! But you would call it blasphemy, and there are men upon this stand who would want to take my life.” (Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 322.) How did people receive Joseph Smith's teachings? "There has been a great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation," Joseph once said. "It has been like splitting hemlock knots with a corn-dodger [a piece of corn bread] for a wedge, and a pumpkin for a beetle [a wooden mallet]. Even the Saints are slow to understand" (History of the Church, 6:184). What was the influence of Joseph Smith's teachings on those who knew him best? "[He] opened up, in plainness and simplicity the things of God," recalled Brigham Young (Deseret News, Dec. 30, 1857, 340). John Taylor said Joseph "was ignorant of letters as the world has it, but the most profoundly learned and intelligent man that I ever met in my life" (Deseret News, June 2, 1880, 275). Wilford Woodruff remarked, "The people could not bear the flood of intelligence which God poured into [Joseph's] mind" (Deseret News, May 27, 1857, 91). Said Lorenzo Snow, "I heard the Prophet discourse upon the grandest of subjects. At times he was filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking as with the voice of an archangel and filled with the power of God" (Quoted in LeRoi C. Snow, "How Lorenzo Snow Found God," Improvement Era, Feb. 1937, 84). His forgiving Nature: If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If
  8. 8. you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours—for charity covereth a multitude of sins. History of the Church, 4:445. He had a cheerful disposition: Aroet L. Hale recalled: ―The Prophet … frequently used to come out of the Mansion [House] and play ball with us boys, his son Joseph being near my age. [The Prophet] Joseph would always conform to the rules. He would catch till it came his turn to take the club, then, being a very stout [strong] man, would knock the ball so far that we used to holler to the boy that was going for the ball to take his dinner. This used to make the Prophet laugh. Joseph was always good natured and full of fun.‖4 Margarette McIntire Burgess: - recalled another experience with the Prophet in Nauvoo: ―My older brother and I were going to school, near to the building which was known as Joseph‘s brick store. It had been raining the previous day, causing the ground to be very muddy, especially along that street. My brother Wallace and I both got fast in the mud, and could not get out, and of course, child-like, we began to cry, for we thought we would have to stay there. But looking up, I beheld the loving friend of children, the Prophet Joseph, coming to us. He soon had us on higher and drier ground. Then he stooped down and cleaned the mud from our little, heavy-laden shoes, took his handkerchief from his pocket and wiped our tear-stained faces. He spoke kind and cheering words to us, and sent us on our way to school rejoicing. Was it any wonder that I loved that great, good and noble man of God?‖5 Bishop Calvin W. Moore- Dealing with Bullies and Evil Bishop Moore- a veteran of the Mormon Battalion, now living in Lawrence, Emery County, Utah, was born on the 21st day of July, 1829. He first met the Prophet in Kirtland, Ohio. Of him he thus testifies:] When I was a small boy my impression of him was that he was a great man and a Prophet of God, and when I grew up and became older I got a testimony for myself, and I can say that I know he was a prophet of the living God. One time in [the] Kirtland Temple, at a fast meeting, Charles Hyde, got up to talk, and the devil took hold of him and stopped him. Joseph laid his hands on him and rebuked the evil one, and Brother Hyde went on talking. On another occasion, at a Sunday meeting, Joseph was speaking when a large, tall man came into the temple and walked up and down the aisles whittling and
  9. 9. whistling. Joseph requested Bishop Knight, who was a smaller man, to put him out, and he took hold of the disturber and put him out just as the Prophet told him to do. There is one thing more, which I witnessed, I will relate: It was at the time Porter Rockwell was in jail, in Missouri. His mother went to see him at the jail, and the Missourians told her that if she would raise a certain amount of money and give them they would let her son go. Joseph started out to get the money. He came to a large crowd of young men who were wrestling, that being the popular sport in those days. Among the boys there was a bully from La Harpe, I believe. He had thrown down everyone on the ground who took hold of him. When Joseph came to the crowd he told them what he wanted, passed around the hat, raised what money he could and then went into the ring to take part with the young men and boys in their games. So he was invited to wrestle with this bully. The man was eager to have a tussle with the Prophet, so Joseph stepped forward and took hold of the man. The first pass he made Joseph whirled him around and took him by the collar and seat of his trowsers and walked out to a ditch and threw him in it. Then, taking him by the arm, he helped him up and patted him on the back and said. "You must not mind this. When I am with the boys I make all the fun I can for them." Prophetic and Visionary Gift: ―It is my meditation all the day, and more than my meat and drink, to know how I shall make the Saints of God comprehend the visions that roll like an overflowing surge before my mind.‖ You Never Knew my Heart: Majesty in the Heavens Baptism of his Father Father of 11 children 6 of them die as infants Little Mary Burgess Dimick Huntington Story Husband Father son…friend Loved Children Willy and Margret mud story Cried when Parley got off a boat from a mission Cried when given a gift of fruit cake in jail Horse named Charlie …Joe Dunkin Dog named Major Prophet Seer Revelator No Man Knows My History: A Denison…‖If I knew how he was going to turn out I would have smothered the little cus‖ Leg operation Walked on crutches for here years Caleb Howard made him walk to Palmyra injured Reverend George Lane
  10. 10. Man who whipped his wife story Found a seer stone in a well Lt. General Nauvoo Legion Mayor of the Largest city in Illinois Shot at as a youth bullet lodged in the neck of their cow Leg operation Poverty…whole family worked to obtain their maintenance Mocked by those who should have been his friends Family exposed to scorn and ridicule… Tarred and feathered beaten 6 children Died One at the hands of enemies because of exposure and measles Hoer of corn builder of wells, cities and temples Industrious, made maple syrup, 1500 gallons..won a prize at the fair Mastor Mason Lt. General Nauvoo Legion Candidate for US president Hired to search for buried treasure Farmed Emma didn‘t like him to work in the garden…his friends would always come and ruin the veggies Sued and paid Lawyers 12,000, 20,000, and one year 60,000 Forced to bankruptcy more than once Captain of his Steam boat sunk his ship…sued for $5,000 Robbed Accused of adultery by a wicked counselor and betrayed by John C. Bennett Imprissioned in Richmond, Liberty, South Bainbridge, Colesville NY, Carthage, Moses Wilsons home, Far West MO Shadrack Roundy Puke OP Rockwell Joseph’s Temperament- He admitted his Human Nature: Joseph meeting Edwin Rushton On another occasion, with serious intent but humorous overtones, the Prophet dressed up in rough clothes, got on a horse and rode down to meet a group of converts who had just arrived from England. He stopped one of them who was heading for the town. "Are you a Mormon?" the Prophet asked. "Yes sir," said Edwin Rushton.
  11. 11. "What do you know about old Joe Smith?" "I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God." "I suppose you are looking for an old man with a long, gray beard. What would you think if I told you I was Joseph Smith?" "If you are Joseph Smith, I know you are a prophet of God." "I am Joseph Smith," the Prophet said, this time in gentle tones. "I came to meet those people, dressed as I am in rough clothes and speaking in this manner, to see if their faith is strong enough to stand the things they must meet. If not, they should turn back right now." 37 (Truman Madsen, Joseph Smith The Prophet) George A. Smith affection for Joseph George A. Smith, a cousin of the Prophet Joseph Smith, was in girth, at least, a larger man. He weighed nearly three hundred pounds. One day they were discussing William W. Phelps as an editor. He had a gift as well as a curse for using language in an abrasive way, and in his editorials he managed to offend almost everyone. In his conversation with the Prophet, George A. Smith's evaluation was that Phelps had a certain literary zeal, and that as far as George A. was concerned he would be willing to pay Phelps for editing a paper so long as nobody else but George A. would be allowed to read it. At this, it is recorded, "Joseph laughed heartily-said I had the thing just right." And then he hugged him and said, "George A., I love you as I do my own life." George A. was moved almost to tears and said, "I hope, Brother Joseph, that my whole life and actions will ever prove my feelings, and the depth of my affection towards you." 40 Never be Discouraged On another occasion he gave George A. this bit of serious counsel: "Never be discouraged. If I were sunk in the lowest pit of Nova Scotia, with the Rocky Mountains piled on me, I would hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage, and I would come out on top." I do not the wrings I am accused of: ―Although I do wrong, I do not the wrongs that I am charged with doing: the wrong that I do is through the frailty of human nature, like other men. No man lives without fault. Do you think that even Jesus, if He were here, would be without fault in your eyes? His enemies said all manner of evil against Him—they all watched for iniquity in Him.‖13 Joseph Smith’s journal for October 29, 1842, records: ―I … went over to the store [in Nauvoo, Illinois], where a number of brethren and sisters were assembled, who had arrived this morning from the neighborhood of New York. … I told them I was but a man, and they must not expect me to be perfect; if they expected perfection from me, I should expect it from them; but if they would bear with my infirmities and the infirmities of the brethren, I would likewise bear with their infirmities.‖
  12. 12. Howard Coray: Knowing how to relax In a relaxed moment one day the Prophet turned to his secretary, Howard Coray, and said, "Brother Coray I wish you were a little larger. I would like to have some fun with you," meaning wrestling. Brother Coray said, "Perhaps you can as it is." The Prophet reached and grappled him and twisted him over-and broke his leg. All compassion, he carried him home, put him in bed, and splinted and bandaged his leg. Brother Coray later said, "Brother Joseph, when Jacob wrestled with the angel and was lamed by him, the angel blessed him. Now I think I am also entitled to a blessing." Joseph had his father give him the blessing, and his leg healed with remarkable speed. 60 To Robert B. Thompson, his secretary, the Prophet said, "Robert, you have been so faithful and relentless in this work, you need to relax." He told him to go out and enjoy himself, to relax. But Thompson was a serious-minded man. He said, "I can't do it." Joseph responded, "You must do it, if you don't do it, you will die." One of the sorrows of Joseph's life was that Robert B. Thompson had a premature death, and he had to speak at the funeral. 61 Native Cheery Disposition: Playful The Prophet, for all his sobriety under proper circumstance, was a hail-fellow-well-met, easily inclined to laughter, sociable, animated, the life of the party, and colorful in his use of language. That was disquieting enough for some that they left the Church. For instance, a family visited the Prophet when he was upstairs for a time translating-serious and tedious work. Then he came downstairs and began to roll on the floor and frolic with his little children. This family was indignant and left the Church. Jumping at the mark with ministers On one occasion ministers came to him intent on tying him up in scriptural analysis, as they had bragged they would do. They kept trying to push him into a corner, but each time he not only had answers but also questions for them that they couldn't handle. Finally they became convinced it would be better if they left. As they went to the door, the Prophet preceded them. He went out, made a mark on the ground, and jumped. "Now gentlemen," he said, "you haven't bested me at the scriptures. See if you can best me at that." They went away much incensed. (Truman Madsen, Joseph Smith Prophet) Eliza R. Snow: Humility Eliza R. Snow, who had heard of the Prophet and some very ugly things in that connection, happened to be at home one day when the Prophet called and visited with her family. "In the winter of 1830 and '31, Joseph Smith called at my father's," she wrote of this visit, "and as he sat warming himself, I scrutinized his face as closely as I could without attracting his attention, and decided that his was an honest face."
  13. 13. 43 Later, after joining the Church, she was often in his home as a kind of babysitter and help for a time in Kirtland. She first admired him in his public ministry, saw him as a prophet, but not until she saw him in his own home, on his knees in prayer, and in his relationship with his children did her whole heart go out to him in admiration. 44 "He was," she said, "as humble as a little child." "You must not mind this. When I am with the boys I make all the fun I can for them." 12 Physical Characteristics: Summary: The word handsome is used…A little over 6 feet tall, weighed over 200 pounds, 240 during the Nauvoo time period. Light brown hair with an auburn cast. Little facial hair, Blue eyes as penetrating as eternity, large nose, after being tarred and feathered he had a broken tooth ad spoke with a lisp. He walked with a slight limp from his leg operation as a boy. Athletic build with no breakage…he wrestled and pulled sticks, swam in the Mississippi, ice skated, jumped at the mark, played baseball quoits even gave bobby prizes. George Q. Cannon The death mask gives us the exact lineaments of the Prophet's forehead, his hairline, which was in 1844 receding some, partly as a result of poisoning. His nose was, as the statue on Salt Lake City's Temple Square depicts, unusually large. And yet it is the comment of those visiting from the East and of his own convert friends that he was a magnificent man. The word handsome recurs, and there are references, at least in the earlier years, to the color and abundance of his hair. It was an auburn cast. There was something of a transparency about his countenance. He was beardless: he shaved, but he did not have a heavy or thick beard. Of the shape of his body, one writer says that there was "no breakage" about it. He had a strong and robust pair of shoulders and from there tapered down. He had become a little portly in the late years at Nauvoo. (Truman Madsen, The Prophet Joseph) Peter H. Burnett Joseph Smith, Jr., was at least six feet high, well-formed, and weighed about one hundred and eighty pounds. His appearance was not prepossessing, and his conversational powers were but ordinary. You could see at a glance that his education was very limited. He was an awkward but vehement speaker. In conversation he was slow, and used too many words to express his ideas, and would not generally go directly to a point. He possessed the most indomitable perseverance, and was a good judge of men, and deemed himself born to command, and he did command. His views were so strange and striking, and his manner was so earnest, and apparently so candid, that you could not but be interested. There was a kind, familiar look about him, that pleased you. He was very courteous in discussion, readily admitting what he did not intend to controvert, and would not oppose you abruptly, but had due deference to your feelings. He had the capacity for discussing a subject in many different aspects, and for proposing many original views, even of ordinary matters. His illustrations were his own. He had great influence over others. As an evidence of this I will state on Thursday, just before I left to return to Liberty, I saw him out among the crowd, conversing freely with every one, and seeming to be perfectly at ease. In the short space of five days he had managed so to mollify his enemies that he could go unprotected among them without the slightest danger. Among the Mormons he had much greater influence
  14. 14. than Sidney Rigdon. The latter was a man of superior education, an eloquent speaker, of fine appearance and dignified manners; but he did not possess the native intellect of Smith, and lacked his determined will. Lyman Wight was the military man among them. There are several others of the prisoners whose names I have forgotten. 1 Elam Cheney Brother Joseph was a man weighing about two hundred pounds, fair complexion, light brown hair. He was about six feet tall, sound bodied, very strong and quick—no breakage about his body. He most always wore a silk stock, and was smooth faced. He was very sympathetic and would talk to children and they liked him. He was honest, and was liked by everybody who knew him. 2 Rachel R. Grant I guess you have seen the picture where Brother Joseph was preaching to the Indians. I was there at that time. The Indians were all kneeling down on the grass in front of the Mansion, and if you have seen that picture, that just describes the way everything was, though it is a miserable picture of the Prophet. He was a fine, noble-looking man, always so neat. There are some of the pictures that do not look a particle like him. When he was preaching you could feel the power and influence. 3 Jane James I could not begin to tell you what he was, only this way, he was tall, over six feet; he was a fine, big, noble, beautiful man! He had blue eyes and light hair, and very fine white skin. 4 Jacob Jones The Prophet weighed about 150 pounds, had nice brown hair, was always jovial and could crack a joke. He could sing well and loved music, loved to dance and would leave a meal at any time to wrestle with anyone. He was nimble as a cat and he was fond of us boys and would often play with us. Anyone could not help but love him and he loved everybody. He always shook hands with all, even the babes. He had a very fine gray horse that he always rode whenever there was a parade. 5 Lydia B. Knight Many were the curious glances that I cast at this strange man who dared to call himself a prophet. I saw a tall, well-built form, with the carriage of an Apollo; brown hair, handsome blue eyes, which seemed to dive down to the innermost thoughts with their sharp, penetrating gaze; a striking countenance, and with manners at once majestic yet gentle, dignified yet exceedingly pleasant. 6
  15. 15. John D. Lee Joseph Smith was a most extraordinary man; he was rather large in stature, some six feet two inches in height, well built though a little stoop shouldered, prominent and well-developed features, a Roman nose, light chestnut hair, upper lip full and rather protruding, chin broad and square, and eagle eye, and on the whole there was something in his manner and appearance that was bewitching and winning; his countenance was that of a plain, honest man, full of benevolence and philanthropy and void of deceit or hypocrisy. He was resolute and firm of purpose, strong as most men in physical power, and all who saw were forced to admire him, as he then looked and existed. 7 Lyman O. Littlefield The opportunity [to meet the Prophet] came, and I first beheld him a tall, well-proportioned man, busily mingling with the members of Zion‘s Camp, shaking hands with them, meeting them with friendly greetings and carefully seeing to their comforts. His familiar, yet courteous and dignified manner, his pleasant and intelligent countenance, his intellectual and well-formed forehead, the expressive and philanthropic facial lineaments, the pleasant smile and the happy light that beamed from his mild blue eyes; all these were among the attractive attributes that at once awakened a responsive interest in the mind of every kindly beholder, which increased in intensity as the acquaintance continued. With his most familiar friends he was social, conversational and often indulged in harmless jokes; but when discoursing upon complicated topics that pertained to the welfare of individuals or the progressiveness of communities, his elucidations were clear and so full of common sense and genuine philosophy that the candid and fair-minded felt interested by his views, though they might decline to entertain or promulgate all of the self-evident truths he originated. Such is a brief though imperfect pen picture of this celebrated man; he was all this when I first beheld him in this traveling camp, and is it any wonder that I, so young in years, should be filled with sensations of intense pleasure and respect for him when I first met him . . . ? 8 James Palmer [Joseph Smith] looked and had, the appearance of one that was heaven born while preaching, or as though he had been sent from the heavenly worlds on some divine mission, he was a man of fine form and Stature measuring over six feet in height, he was of a light complexion, his hair was of a flaxen color, he wore no whiskers , his chin was a little tipped , his nose was long and straight, his mouth was rather massive and his upper lip rather long and a little inclined to be thick. He had a large full chest and intelligent eyes and fine limbs; altogether he presented a very formidable appearance, being a man of Gentlemanly bearing. 9 Parley P. Pratt President Joseph Smith was in person tall and well built, strong and active, of a light complexion, light hair, blue eyes, very little beard, and of an expression peculiar to himself, on which the eye naturally rested with interest, and was never weary of beholding. His countenance was ever mild, affable, beaming with intelligence and benevolence; mingled with a look of
  16. 16. interest and an unconscious smile, or cheerfulness, and entirely free from all restraint or affectation of gravity; and there was something connected with the serene and steady penetrating glance of his eye, as if he would penetrate the deepest abyss of the human heart, gaze into eternity, penetrate the heavens, and comprehend all worlds. He possessed a noble boldness and independence of character; his manner was easy and familiar; his rebuke terrible as the lion; his benevolence unbounded as the ocean; his intelligence universal, and his language abounding in original eloquence peculiar to himself- -not polished— not studied—not smoothed and softened by education and refined by art; but flowing forth in its own native simplicity, and profusely abounding in variety of subject and manner. He interested and edified, while, at the same time, he amused and entertained his audience; and none listened to him that were ever weary with his discourse. I have even known him to retain a congregation of willing and anxious listeners for many hours together, in the midst of cold or sunshine, rain or wind, while they were laughing at one moment and weeping the next. Even his most bitter enemies were generally overcome, if he could once get their ears. I have known him when chained and surrounded with armed murderers and assassins who were heaping upon him every possible insult and abuse, rise up in the majesty of a son of God and rebuke them, in the name of Jesus Christ, till they quailed before him, dropped their weapons, and, on their knees, begged his pardon, and ceased their abuse. In short, in him the characters of a Daniel and a Cyrus were wonderfully blended. The gifts, wisdom and devotion of a Daniel were united with the boldness, courage, temperance, perseverance and generosity of a Cyrus. And had he been spared a martyr‘s fate till mature manhood and age, he was certainly endowed with powers and ability to have revolutionized the world in many respects, and to have transmitted to posterity a name associated with more brilliant and glorious acts than has yet fallen to the lot of mortals. As it is, his works will live to endless ages, and unnumbered millions yet unborn will mention his name with honor, as a noble instrument in the hands of God, who, during his short and youthful career, laid the foundation of that kingdom spoken of by Daniel, the prophet, which should break in pieces all other kingdoms and stand forever. 10 Josiah Quincy He was a hearty, athletic fellow, with blue eyes standing prominently out upon his light complexion, a long nose, and a retreating forehead. He wore striped pantaloons, a linen jacket, which had not lately seen the washtub, and a beard of some three days‘ growth. This was the founder of the religion which had been preached in every quarter of the earth. 11 A fine-looking man is what the passer-by would instinctively have murmured upon meeting the remarkable individual who had fashioned the mold which was to shape the feelings of so many thousands of his fellow-mortals. But Smith was more than this, and one could not resist the impression that capacity and resource were natural to his stalwart person. I have already mentioned the resemblance he bore to Elisha R. Potter, of Rhode Island, whom I met in Washington in 1826. The likeness was not such as would be recognized in a picture, but rather one that would be felt in a grave emergency. Of all men I have met, these two seemed best endowed with that kingly faculty which directs, as by intrinsic right, the feeble or confused souls
  17. 17. who are looking for guidance. This it is just to say with emphasis; for the reader will find so much that is puerile and even shocking in my report of the Prophet‘s conversation that he might never suspect the impression of rugged power that was given by the man. 12 Jane S. Richards The first time I ever saw Joseph Smith I recognized him, from a dream I had had. He had such angelic countenance as I never saw before. He was then thirty-seven years of age, of ordinary appearance in dress and manner, a child-like appearance of innocence. His hair was of a light brown, blue eyes and light complexioned. His natural demeanor was quiet, his character and disposition was formed by his life work, he was kind and considerate, taking a personal interest in all his people, considering every one his equal. We were regular in our attendance at the meetings, and [I] was always anxious to hear Brother Joseph. 13 Herbert S. Salisbury My grandmother, Catherine Smith Salisbury, told me that her brother Joseph was six feet tall, athletic and fair, and loved to wrestle. She said that he was not in the least snobbish, but treated all he met with kindness, consideration and respect. Once when a noted wrestler from New England visited him in Nauvoo, he challenged the wrestler to ―take a fall‖ with him. In the ensuing bout he threw the wrestler three times, and the man then refused to take any more ―falls.‖ From what she told me, I think the Prophet must have been as affectionate with his relatives as President George Albert Smith. She said that on her rare visits to Nauvoo the Prophet treated her and her family with great kindness and generosity and sent her home laden with food, money and clothing. 14 John Smith He was twelve years of age at the time his father and Joseph the Prophet were martyred. Speaking of the current pictures of the Prophet, he agreed with Sister Bathsheba W. Smith. The Prophet Joseph stood even six feet high in his stocking feet and weighed 212 pounds. The speaker‘s Father, Hyrum Smith, stood five feet eleven and a half inches high and they weighed in the same notch, varying from 210 to 212 pounds. 15 Eunice B. Snow Some of the most impressive moments of my life were when I saw the Nauvoo Legion on parade with the Prophet (then General Joseph Smith) with his wife, Emma Hale Smith, on horseback at the head of the troops. It was indeed an imposing sight. He so fair, and she so dark, in their beautiful riding-habits. He in full military suit, and she with her habit trimmed with gold buttons, a neat cap on her head, with a black plume in it, while the Prophet wore a red plume in his, and a red sash across his breast. His coat was black, while his white pants had red stripes on the outside seams. He also wore a sword at his side. His favorite riding-horse was named Charlie, a big black steed. 16 George W. Taggart
  18. 18. [September 10, 1843] Now something concerning Old Jo, so called. He is a young looking man of his age, which is near thirty-eight years and one of the finest looking men there is in the country and he does not pretend to be a man without failings and follies. He is a man that you could not help liking as a man, setting aside the religious prejudice which the world has raised against him. He is one of the warmest patriots and friends to his country and laws that you ever heard speak on the subject. Neither is he puffed up with his greatness an many suppose but on the contrary is familiar with any decent man and is ready to talk up any subject that anyone wishes. And I assure you it would make you wonder to hear him talk and see the information which comes out of his mouth and it is not in big words either but that which anyone can understand. 17 Wandle Mace He was a fine looking man, tall and well proportioned, strong and active, with a light complexion, blue eyes, and light hair, and very little beard. He had a free and easy manner, not the least affectation, yet he was bold and independent, and very interesting and eloquent in speech. 18 Notes: 1. Peter H. Burnett, An Old California Pioneer (Oakland, Calif.: Biobooks, 1946), 40-41. ↩ 2. Elam Cheney Sr., ―Joseph Smith, the Prophet,‖ Young Woman‘s Journal 17, no. 12 (December 1906): 539-40. ↩ 3. Rachel Ridgeway Grant, ―Joseph Smith, the Prophet,‖ Young Woman‘s Journal 16, no. 12 (December 1905): 550. ↩ 4. Jane James, ―Joseph Smith, the Prophet,‖ Young Woman‘s Journal 16, no. 12 (December 1905): 553. ↩ 5. ―Testimony of Jacob Jones,‖ LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah. ↩ 6. Susa Young Gates, Lydia Knight‘s History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Juvenile Instructor‘s Office, 1883), 14-23. ↩ 7. John D. Lee, Mormonism Unveiled (St. Louis, Mo.: N. D. Thompson & Co., 1881), 76. ↩ 8. Lyman O. Littlefield, ―The Prophet Joseph Smith in Zion‘s Camp,‖ Juvenile Instructor 27, no. 1 (1 January 1892): 56-57. ↩ 9. James Palmer, ―Reminiscences,‖ LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah, 69-70. Spelling and grammar have been modernized. ↩ 10. Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1985), 31-32. ↩ 11. Josiah Quincy, Figures of the Past from the Leaves of Old Journals (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1883), 380-81. ↩ 12. Josiah Quincy, Figures of the Past from the Leaves of Old Journals (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1883), 381. ↩ 13. ―Reminiscences of Mrs. F. D. [Jane Snyder] Richards,‖ San Francisco, 1880. Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 11. ↩ 14. ―Things the Prophet‘s Sister Told Me,‖ 30 June 1945, typescript copy, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1-5. ↩ 15. Collected Discourses, edited by Brian H. Stuy, 5 vols. (Burbank, California, and Woodland Hills, Utah: B. H. S. Publishing, 1987-92), 5:33. ↩
  19. 19. 16. ―A Sketch of the Life of Eunice Billings Snow,‖ Woman‘s Exponent 39, no. 2 (August 1910): 14; see also ―A Sketch of the Life of Eunice Billings Snow,‖ Woman‘s Exponent 39, no. 3 (September 1910): 22; also cited in Hyrum L. Andrus and Helen Mae Andrus, They Knew the Prophet (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1974), 152-53. ↩ 17. Ronald O. Barney, ―‗A Man That You Could Not Help Likeing,‘ Joseph Smith and Nauvoo Portrayed in a Letter by Susannah and George Taggart,‖ BYU Studies 40, no. 2 (2001): 172-73. Spelling and punctuation have been modernized. ↩ 18. Journal of Wandle Mace, Brigham Young University Library ↩ No Man Knows my History “When I am called up at the trump and weighed in the balance, you will all know me then” Favorite Stories and Reminiscences: Mary Todd Lincoln and Judge Nathaniel Pope- In 1843 the same U.S. attorney who opposed Joseph’s bankruptcy –Justin Butterfield–also defended him before the same judge in another famous extradition case. In May 1842, Missouri Governor Boggs was shot and Joseph was arrested as an accomplice. The case was heard in the Springfield court house, before Judge Nathaniel Pope. The court room was so crowded that the judge invited some women (including Mary Todd Lincoln) to sit by him on the stand. The attorney’s opening line was this: “If it please the court, I come before the Pope, in the presence of these angels, to defend the prophet of the Lord.” And he did! Legal Trials of the Prophet: Joseph Smith’s Life in Court-by Joseph I. Bentley Legal Trials of the Prophet: Joseph Smith’s Life in Court-by Joseph I. Bentley From my years of research and work on the Joseph Smith Papers Project, I have gained a deeper appreciation of Joseph’s achievements, despite intense and unrelenting adversity. Among his other tribulations was the fact that his ministry was shadowed by many persistent legal prosecutions. Anyone who has been through even one lawsuit knows how all-consuming it can be. It can demand your time, assets, body and mind. So far we’ve found over two hundred total suits involving Joseph Smith–whether as a defendant, plaintiff, witness or judge. (Yes, as Mayor of Nauvoo, he was also a Justice of the Peace and Chief Magistrate of the Nauvoo Municipal Court.) That makes an average of about fourteen cases per year. As best we can tell, he endured an average of one lawsuit per month during most of his ministry! Brigham Young said that he had to defend himself in forty-eight criminal cases, including many personally involving Brigham–but that Joseph was never convicted in any of them. We believe that this count of criminal cases against him is quite accurate. We’ll focus mainly on some criminal charges that took his liberty, his assets and ultimately his life. Knowing that not once was he found legally guilty of any charges against him has strengthened my own faith and regard for Joseph Smith–the man and the Prophet. This is a unique way to tell the history of the Church through lawsuits and court records. From the time of his First Vision, Joseph said he got used to “swimming in deep water.” This was also true of his experience with the law. The Lord told him at the start of his ministry: “Be patient in thine
  20. 20. afflictions for thou shalt have many. But endure them, for lo I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.”1 Also: “Be firm in keeping the commandments … and if you do this, behold I grant unto you eternal life, even if you should be slain.“2 Finally: “And even if they do unto you as they have done unto me, blessed are ye, for ye shall dwell with me in glory.”3 These verses connected him to the Lord himself. But how is that for a mission call? The legal charges and trials of Joseph began almost before his ministry began, and they continued for many years after it ended. No Man Knows my History Prophetic Visions and Visitations: Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah Jesus anointed that prophet and seer… Visitations The Father and the Son Moroni 22+ times John the Baptist Paul 3 Nephites Moses, Elias, Elijah Peter, James, John Adam Jude Adam and Eve Etc… Translated and Revealed more scripture than any man ever to live upon the earth The Book of Mormon Pearl of Great Price Doctrine and Covenants JST of the Old and New Testament 3000 Page History of the Church Restored all Doctrines and keys of every dispensation for the living and the dead Power of the Priesthood Stories Elijah Fordam WW Handkerchief story Healed Newel Knight William Huntington