In the midst of all the challenges, trials, privations and difficulties the Saints experienced in Missouri, how is it that when the Church really needed the leadership of the Prophet Joseph, God allowed him to be put in an obscure and remote Jail, ironically called Liberty?
So, here’s a question: In the midst of all the challenges, trials, privations and difficulties the Saints experienced in Missouri, how is it that when the Church really needed the leadership of the Prophet Joseph, God allowed him to be put in an obscure and remote Jail, ironically called Liberty? Why would God do that? This is the Kingdom of God on the earth. Isn’t the God of the Universe watching out for His chosen Prophet? Let’s explore that question today.
Hello dear listeners and welcome to Meridian Magazine’s Come Follow Me Podcast. This is Scot and Maurine Proctor and we’re delighted to be with you again. Amazingly, as you are hearing this podcast, which we had to pre-record a little early, we will have just been in the Liberty Jail a couple of days before. We go there every year and we know that place and the things that happened there really well. Before we get started, we want to tell you some exciting news. You remember last year when we offered the Nauvoo Diary, a place to record daily thoughts and personal insights and engagements if you want. Well, this year, Scot has pulled out all the stops and created The Kirtland Diary for Thoughts and Personal Revelation. It is stunning. We just received the preliminary copies from our press in South Korea and the rest will be arriving in just a few weeks. We’ve been slowed down by COVID this year, but they will be here in plenty of time for your gift-giving needs. These truly are rich with full-color photographs of Kirtland and Hiram, Ohio including all the historical sites significant to that period of Church History. This was a season in the History of the Church of a cascade of revelations. I have held this Kirtland Diary in my hands and it is truly beautiful.
I guess you know by now that we love the history of the Church. We love the historical sites that help us understand our ancestors and I love these new Kirtland Diaries and want to share them with as many people as possible. You can PRE-ORDER them right now by going to latterdaysaintmag.com/Kirtland that’s latterdaysaintmag.com/Kirtland We know you’re going to love these too!
Let’s go back now to the horrific scenes as Joseph and his brethren were being taken from Far West. Intimidated by Alexander Doniphan’s stand, General Samuel Lucas made plans to take the Church leaders 35 miles to the south to Richmond for trial.
Joseph and the other leaders were taken to that horrible jail at Richmond for an agonizing preliminary hearing on charges growing out of the armed hostilities. The prisoners submitted a list of defense witnesses, but these were systematically jailed or driven from the county.
Parley Pratt described conditions in the jail as they awaited their trial: “Our ears and hearts had been pained, while we had listened for hours to the obscene jests, the horrid oaths . . . and filthy language of our guards . . . as they recounted to each other their deeds of rapine, murder, robbery, etc., which they had committed among the ‘Mormons’ . . . They even boasted . . . of shooting or dashing out the brains of men, women and children.
“I had listened till I became so disgusted, shocked, horrified, and so filled with the spirit of indignant justice, that I could scarcely refrain from rising,” when “on a sudden he arose to his feet, and spoke in a voice of thunder, or as the roaring lion, uttering…the following words:
“SILENCE, ye fiends of the infernal pit. In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; I will not live another minute and bear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I die THIS INSTANT!”
He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty. Chained, and without a weapon; calm, unruffled and dignified as an angel, he looked upon the quailing guards, whose weapons were lowered or dropped to the ground; whose knees smote together, and who, shrinking into a corner, or crouching at his feet, begged his pardon, and remained quiet till a change of guards.
Parley described Joseph in that moment:
“I have seen the ministers of justice, clothed in magisterial robes, and criminals arraigned before them, while life was suspended on a breath, in the Courts of England; I have witnessed a Congress in solemn session to give laws to nations; I have tried to conceive of kings, of royal courts, of thrones and crowns; and of emperors assembled to decide the fate of kingdoms; but dignity and majesty have I seen but once, as it stood in chains, at midnight, in a dungeon in an obscure village of Missouri.” (Pratt, Parley P. Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, Revised and Enhanced Edition, Edited by Scot Facer Proctor and Maurine Jensen Proctor, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 2000, p. 263)
Six leaders of the Church were taken on to Independence, while some, including Parley P. Pratt, Porter Rockwell and others were left in Richmond.
Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Alexander McCrae, Caleb Baldwin and Lyman Wight, all falsely accused, were cast into a two-story, twenty-two-foot-square stone dungeon with the ironic name of Liberty. For the next four long winter months, the Prophet and his friends suffered from bitter cold, unfit food, filthy conditions, and smoke inhalation. On the lower level of the jail, they could not stand fully upright. But worst of all for the Prophet was his inability to comfort the Saints and his family, who were barely surviving in Far West and whose faith was being sorely tried. Reports of the Saints from the outside were grim.
The conditions in the Liberty jail were extremely poor. At least once the brethren were given food that was said to be human flesh, or “Mormon beef.” They refused to eat it. While Hyrum was in the jail, his wife, Mary Fielding Smith, gave birth to a son and with the help of Phoebe Ann Morton Angell, who washed and dressed the baby and had attended to Mary in the birth, was allowed to bring him there to be blessed. With tenderness, Hyrum named his son after his prisoner-brother: Joseph Fielding Smith. This little baby, born in affliction and conflict, would become the sixth president of the Church and preside over it for seventeen years.
It seemed there was no movement on the outside to get the brethren released from prison.
Elders Neal A. Maxwell, B.H. Roberts and Jeffrey R. Holland as well as Dr. Truman G. Madsen taught that this time in Liberty Jail for the Prophet Joseph was “a prison temple.”
“The “prison temple” involved a time of obscurity, adversity, irony, and testimony,” said Elder Maxwell.
“The ironies in Liberty Jail are many. Though deprived of his constitutional rights, Joseph Smith therein praised the glorious U.S. Constitution. Then, after the misery of Missouri, Joseph declared with inspired anticipation:
“I am willing to be sacrificed . . . maintaining the laws & Constitution of the United States if need be, for the general good of mankind. [Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, comps. and eds., The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980), p. 320]
“While being grossly abused by some biased political, judicial, and military leaders who wrongly used their powers Joseph received a glorious revelation. A sizable portion of that revelation, D&C 121, contrastingly sets forth the style and substance the Lord wants from his leaders that diverges so sharply from the ways of the world (see D&C 121:34–46).
“Though Joseph was jailed nearly five months, more than four of these in Liberty Jail, he was told by the tutoring Lord that these things shall be “but for a small moment” (D&C 122:4; see also D&C 121:7). Though Joseph was suffering, the Lord reminded him that he was not suffering as much as Job had (see D&C 121:7–11). Only the Lord can compare crosses, and on that particular occasion he did (D&C 122:8).”
“The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” (D&C 122:8)”
“It was also a particularly cold winter. The constant darkness bothered the prisoners’ eyes. Joseph wrote about how his hand actually trembled as he penned his next-to-last letter to Emma (see Writings, p. 409).
“In the midst of this stark obscurity and incessant difficulty, and with twelve-thousand of Joseph’s followers driven from the state of Missouri, the enemies of the Church probably felt that they had destroyed Joseph’s work. Yet in the midst of all this deprivation, affliction, and obscurity, Joseph received the Lord’s stunning assurance that “the ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name” (D&C 122:1).
“How inspired and audacious a prophecy for any religious leader, let alone one on the obscure nineteenth-century American frontier. Meanwhile, Joseph’s contemporary frontier and religious leaders have since become mere footnotes to history. But not Joseph!” (Maxwell, Neal A. Joseph Smith, A Choice Seer, BYU Speeches, March 30, 1986)
I’ve spent an adult lifetime pondering about Joseph’s time in the Liberty Jail. What did he think about? What did he and Hyrum talk about? What plans were they making? There was no one on earth who knew the Book of Mormon as well as Joseph and I have no question that the story of Alma and Amulek’s imprisonment at Ammonihah at least passed through their minds. Do you not suppose that it was at least possible that Joseph and Hyrum, in like manner, talked about the use of priesthood power to bring down this frontier jail. The outer walls were two-feet thick of stone, then the inner walls were one-foot of solid oak timbers. There was a one-foot space between those two walls that was then filled with loose rocks. The ceiling was also filled with loose rocks making this jail practically impossible to escape from. But this was no match for priesthood power. And yet, the Lord had great lessons to teach these, His humble sons.
Nevertheless, knowing that they were innocent men of all charges, they were constantly trying to figure out ways to escape this jail. We learn from Alexander McRae’s writings of one such attempt to escape:
“On the 7th day of February, 1839, after counseling together on the subject, we concluded to try to go that evening when the jailor came with our supper. But before deciding fully, and to make it more sure, Brother Hyrum asked Brother Joseph to inquire of the Lord as to the propriety of the move.
“He did so, and received answer to this effect—that if we were all agreed, we could go clear that evening; and if we would ask, we should have a testimony for ourselves.
[Now, listen closely to what Alexander recorded] “I immediately asked, and had no more than asked until I received as clear a testimony as ever I did of anything in my life that it was true. Brother Hyrum Smith and Caleb Baldwin bore testimony to the same. But Lyman Wight said we might go if we chose, but he would not. [Remember, Sidney Rigdon had been released from the jail earlier, due to extreme illness]
“After talking with [Lyman] for some time, he said if we would wait until the next day, he would go with us.
“Without thinking we had no promise of success on any other day than the one above stated, we agreed to wait.
“When night came [that day], the jailor came alone with our supper, threw the door wide open, put our supper on the table, and went to the back part of the room where a pile of books lay, took up a book and went to reading, leaving us between him and the door, thereby giving us every chance to go if we had been ready. As the next day was agreed upon, we made no attempt to go that evening.
“When the next evening came, the case was very different. The jailor brought a double guard with him, and with them six of our brethren, to wit, Erastus Snow, William D. Huntington, Cyrus Daniels, David Holeman, Alanson Ripley and Watson Barlow. I was afterwards informed that they were sent by the Church. The jailor seemed to be badly scared. He had the door locked and everything made secure. It looked like a bad chance to get away, but we were determined to try it. So, when the jailor started out, we started too. Brother Hyrum took hold of the door and the rest followed. But before we were able to render him the assistance he needed, the jailor and guard succeeded in closing the door, shutting the brethren in with us, except Cyrus Daniels, who was on the outside.
“The scene that followed defies description. I should judge from the number that all the town and many from the country gathered around the jail, and every mode of torture and death that their imagination could fancy was proposed for us. But they were so divided among themselves that they could not carry out any of their plans.” (Alexander McRae, Letter to the Editor, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 9, 1854)
Truman Madsen wrote: “During those cold winter months in Liberty Jail-December through March-Joseph did not have a blanket. He wrote to Emma and pleaded for one. She had to reply that in his absence William McLellin, formerly one of the original Twelve Apostles and now a vicious antagonist, had stolen all the blankets from his house. Several times the jailers administered poison to the prisoners…There were no sanitary facilities except the slop bucket, and there was very little light.
“Joseph was not alone; his brother Hyrum and four other brethren were with him. In some respects that was an added affliction, as he saw their sufferings too. The reports piled up of cruelties inflicted on the Saints-the whippings, the beatings, the rapes, the plundering of homes and farms, and finally the enforced exodus to Illinois in dead of winter, leaving bloody marks in their footprints on the snow. These weighed heavily on the souls and the hearts of these men in prison for conscience’ sake.” (Madsen, Truman G., Joseph Smith the Prophet, Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, 1978, pp 56-57)
On March 19, 1839, something happened that overwhelmed the Prophet with emotions, almost more than he could take. Joseph received a series of letters, including one from his younger brother, Don Carlos and one from his precious wife Emma.
Don Carlos wrote, in part:
Brethren Hyrum [Smith] and Joseph,
Having an opportunity to send a line to you, I do not feel disposed to let it slip unnoticed. Father’s family have all arrived in this state, except you two, And could I but see your faces, this side of the Mississippi, and know and realize that you had been delivered from your enemies, it would certainly light up a new gleam of hope in our bosoms; nothing could be more satisfactory, nothing could give us more joy.” (Don Carlos Smith, Letter with postscript by William Smith, Quincy, Adams Co., IL, to JS and Hyrum Smith, Liberty, Clay Co., MO, 6 Mar. 1839. Featured version copied [between 29 May and 30 Oct. 1839] in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 38–39; handwriting of James Mulholland; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 2.)
And Emma wrote in part:
“Having an opportunity to send by a friend I make an attempt to write, but I shall not attempt to write my feelings altogether, for the situation in which you are, the walls, bars, and bolts, rolling rivers, running streams, rising hills, sinking vallies and spreading prairies that separate us, and the cruel injustice that first cast you into prison and still holds you there, with many other considerations, places my feelings far beyond description…
“Was it not for conscious innocence, and the direct interposition of divine mercy, I am very sure I never should have been able to have endured the scenes of suffering that I have passed through… No one but God, knows the reflections of my mind and the feelings of my heart when I left our house and home, and allmost all of every thing that we possessed excepting our little Children, and took my journey out of the State of Missouri, leaving you shut up in
jail that lonesome prison. But the reflection recollection is more than human nature ought to bear, and if God does not record our sufferings and avenge our wrongs on them that are guilty, I shall be sadly mistaken. (Emma Smith, Letter, Quincy, Adams Co., IL, to JS, Liberty, Clay Co., MO, 7 Mar. . Featured version copied [between 29 May and 30 Oct. 1839] in JS Letterbook 2, p. 37; handwriting of James Mulholland; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 2.)
These letters touched a deep place in Joseph’s heart and the very next day he dictated long letters to the Church and his family, the excerpts of which have become Sections 121, 122 and 123 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland teaches us three lessons from the Liberty Jail, although there are many more:
“Well, without trying to determine which of these kinds of experiences in our life are ‘mandatory’ and which are ‘optional’ but still good for us, may I suggest just a very few of the lessons learned at Liberty—those experiences that were ‘school teachers’ to Joseph and can be to us, experiences that contribute so much to our education in mortality and our exaltation in eternity…
“Now then, three lessons from Liberty Jail: May I suggest that the first of these is inherent in what I’ve already said—that everyone, including (and perhaps especially) the righteous, will be called upon to face trying times. When that happens we can sometimes fear God has abandoned us, and we might be left, at least for a time, to wonder when our troubles will ever end. As individuals, as families, as communities, and as nations, probably everyone has had or will have an occasion to feel as Joseph Smith felt when he asked why such sorrow had to come and how long its darkness and damage would remain. We identify with him when he cries from the depth and discouragement of his confinement:
“O God, where art thou? . . .
“Secondly, we need to realize that just because difficult things happen—sometimes unfair and seemingly unjustified things—it does not mean that we are unrighteous or that we are unworthy of blessings or that God is disappointed in us. Of course sinfulness does bring suffering, and the only answer to that behavior is repentance. But sometimes suffering comes to the righteous, too. You will recall that from the depths of Liberty Jail when Joseph was reminded that he had indeed been “cast . . . into trouble,” had passed through tribulation and been falsely accused, had been torn away from his family and cast into a pit, into the hands of murderers, nevertheless, he was to remember that the same thing had happened to the Savior of the world, and because He was triumphant, so shall we be (see D&C 122:4–7). In giving us this sober reminder of what the Savior went through, the revelation from Liberty Jail records: “The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” (D&C 122:8).
“No. Joseph was not greater than the Savior, and neither are we. And when we promise to follow the Savior, to walk in His footsteps and be His disciples, we are promising to go where that divine path leads us. And the path of salvation has always led one way or another through Gethsemane.
“Thirdly…may I remind us all that in the midst of these difficult feelings when one could justifiably be angry or reactionary or vengeful, wanting to return an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, the Lord reminds us from the Liberty Jail prison-temple that
“the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only [or “except”] upon the principles of righteousness. [D&C 121:36]
“Therefore, even when we face such distressing circumstances in our life and there is something in us that wants to strike out at God or man or friend or foe, we must remember that ‘no power or influence can or ought to be maintained [except] by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; . . . without hypocrisy, and without guile’ (D&C 121:41–42; emphasis added).
“It has always been a wonderful testimony to me of the Prophet Joseph’s greatness and the greatness of all of our prophets, including and especially the Savior of the world in His magnificence, that in the midst of such distress and difficulty they could remain calm and patient, charitable, and forgiving—that they could even talk that way, let alone live that way. But they could, and they did. They remembered their covenants, they disciplined themselves, and they knew that we must live the gospel at all times, not just when it is convenient and not just when things are going well. Indeed, they knew that the real test of our faith and our Christian discipleship is when things are not going smoothly. That is when we get to see what we’re made of and how strong our commitment to the gospel really is.” End of Quote from Elder Holland (Holland, Jeffrey R., Lessons from Liberty Jail, CES Fireside, Brigham Young University, September 7, 2008)
Now, do we have our Liberty Jails? Do we have times when we come to that place where all we can do is cry out and plead, “Oh God, where art thou?” Of course, we do! We are God’s covenant children and those in the covenant agreed to be tried and tested. Somewhere in our latent memory banks echoes these words, “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them. (Abraham 3:25)
We have a very dear friend, Bonnie, whose husband, Ron, was in a hiking accident in February and suffered a traumatic brain injury. We thought he was just fine for about a month, and then he suffered a severe bleed in the brain and went into a coma for 14 weeks. Both of them have been through severe trials these past nearly eight months. Ron cannot yet swallow. His voice has been taken away although it is starting to slowly come back. His left side is not functioning. His right foot is not receiving the neurological signals it needs to help him start walking again. And there are many other challenges as well.
We know that all of us are faced with various life-stretching and mind-boggling trials in our lives, but don’t you think that Bonnie might be tempted to say, “Oh God, where art thou?” We talk to her every day and we see them many times a week. Blessings have been given. Prayers are constantly offered in their behalf. And yet progress is slow. We called her this morning, just before recording this podcast, and we asked her these very questions and asked if she had seen any miracles.
She immediately said, “I see miracles every day. Each morning when I wake up, I am so exhausted, I just don’t know how I will go on. I don’t know how I will gather the physical strength to do what I need to do. I can’t fathom just getting up to help all day long. And then I do and the Lord gives me strength all day long. He helps me through. He stands beside me. He sends angels from both sides of the veil to help me. If I were to ask where He is, well, He’s everywhere. And I know that every day.”
“He is there in finding the right doctor when I need one for a very specific challenge that Ron has. I don’t have to ask where God is. It’s as if He says, “Here am I.”
“He was there in finding just the right specialized vehicle to be able to transport Ron to his numerous appointments and see to his needs. I was paying thousands of dollars a month in transport fees but then this customized vehicle showed up in Missouri and they delivered it to my door. It was as if the Lord was saying, “Here am I.”
“He was absolutely there just two days ago when Ron had an issue with his catheter. It was so horrible we had to go in to a specialist to get it put in right and just as I pulled out of the driveway with Ron in the car, his physical therapist was just pulling in for his home appointment and from a distance I rolled down the window and said “I’m so sorry, we HAVE TO TAKE RON in right now with a catheter issue.” The therapist said he would reschedule. That night the therapist discovered he tested positive for COVID. What a blessing. It’s as if the Lord said, “Here am I.”
“He was there in having to set up operations that really needed to be done and being delayed only to find out that the delay was the exact perfect timing and led to a much better outcome for Ron. The Lord was saying, “Here am I.”
“He is right here in blessing individually my sons and daughters with increased faith, patience, hope and resilience. And perhaps that’s the most important thing of all. He just says quietly: “Here am I.”
“He is with me every day and I have learned to trust Him absolutely. I even came to the place just the other day where I said in my prayers that I was grateful that He has allowed all this to happen and give me this experience, because it has really shaped and blessed me.
We have been astounded as we have observed Bonnie in this trial and we have been witnesses to the fact that God is really there in every detail, in every turn, in every decision. It has been amazing.
When we are pushed to our limits, when we are at the end of our individual ropes. When we can’t go any further and we, too, as the Prophet Joseph cry out, “Oh God, where art thou?” If we stand still and pay attention and listen, we will hear the still small voice saying gently: Here am I.
Now, we have to end this podcast with a story of faith and super faith, one of our very favorite stories in Church History. We tell it every year in the very spot where it happened and it never ceases to move us to the core of our beings.
In July 1838, while the Latter-day Saints were still living in Far West, Missouri, Joseph Smith had received a revelation that the Quorum of the Twelve were to be called on a mission to England, and the instructions were very specific:
“Let them take leave of my saints in the city of Far West on the twenty-sixth day of April next” (D&C 118:5). When this revelation was received, the Saints were living happily in Far West and did not know the thunderous storm clouds that lay on the horizon. By April 1839, the blackest, and most hateful Missouri persecutions had intervened. The people at Haun’s Mill had been massacred, while their children were at play; Joseph Smith and other key leaders had been falsely imprisoned in Liberty Jail; and Governor Boggs had issued the Extermination Order, making it legal for anyone to kill a Mormon in Missouri.
The people in Far West had been driven by gunpoint from their homes, their flocks scattered, their crops burned and some of their women ravished in brutal scenes that defy the imagination.
By the 20th of April 1839, the last of the Saints had left, fleeing Far West at gunpoint, with the threat of death upon them should they not remove themselves immediately. The Twelve had long since left Missouri and were gathered on the eastern shore of the Mississippi River. What did this mean for the fulfillment of this revelation? It would seem, of course, impossible and irrational to even attempt. It was unusual for a revelation to specify a definite date and a particular place, but this one did.
Joseph Smith and his fellow prisoners, as you know, had spent the winter in the dank Liberty jail, and in Missouri, some were boasting that if the Twelve returned to fulfill this commandment, they would be murdered. Wilford Woodruff said, “It was with the greatest difficulty that many of them, especially the prominent ones, got out of Missouri, for at that time many people of that state acted as though they thought it no more harm to shoot a Mormon than to shoot a mad dog.”
The mobsters boasted that the revelation calling the Twelve to England could never be fulfilled, and thus Joseph was no prophet. On April 5, 21 days before the Twelve were to leave from the corner of the Far West Temple site, eight men, including the county judge, burst into the office of the Committee on Removal, and gave Latter-day Saint Theodore Turley, who had been left behind to settle affairs, the paper containing Joseph Smith’s revelation and asked him to read it. Turley said, “Gentlemen, I am well acquainted with it,” They said, “Then you, as a rational man, will give up Joseph Smith’s being a prophet and an inspired man? He and the Twelve are now scattered all over creation; let them come here if they dare; if they do, they will be murdered. As that revelation cannot be fulfilled, you will now give up your faith.”
Turley jumped up and said, “In the name of God that revelation will be fulfilled.” Yet, even some members of the Church had doubts about it. They thought, surely the Lord would not expect this, given the dangerous conditions in Missouri. The Lord would surely accept their work no matter what date and what place they left from. Those of the Twelve who were in the vicinity of Quincy, Illinois had the proposition placed before them. Would they be willing to go back to the temple site in Far West as the official starting place of their missions? Brigham Young had no question what their course should be, but some wondered. Surely, they suggested the Lord would take into account the murderous conditions in Missouri and not expect so much. Richard L. Evans called this, “a weak argument for weak men, which phrase is not descriptive of any member of the Twelve.” When the proposition was placed before them, they were in favor, to a man, of fulfilling the revelation and trusting in the Lord to deliver them.
They traveled back across Missouri behind enemy lines, alert for sounds, wary of strangers, putting their lives at risk. Ironically, in a scene I cannot wait to see played back in the next world, Joseph and Hyrum and their companions had escaped the Liberty Jail just days before and it took them nine days to get to Illinois. In the guise of night, they were heading east and in that same cover of darkness, the apostles were heading west. It is possible they passed each other in the night—but neither was aware of the other—although I have my suspicions that Joseph surely knew the Twelve would fulfill the prophecy.
While it was yet dark on the morning of April 26, Brigham Young Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John Taylor and others met at the temple lot in Far West for a short service to begin their missions. Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith were ordained apostles, making seven, or a majority, present. They prayed in the order of their standing in the Quorum, a song was sung, and a stone was rolled into place at the southeast corner of the Temple. All was done boldly, but quietly.
“As the Saints were passing away from the meeting, Brother Turley said to Elders Page and Woodruff: ‘Stop a bit, while I bid Isaac Russell (who had apostisized) good-bye;’ and knocking at the door, called to Brother Russell. His wife answered: ‘Come in, it is Brother Turley.’ Russell replied: ‘It is not; he left here two weeks ago;’ and appeared quite alarmed; but on finding it was Brother Turley, asked him to sit down; but the latter replied: ‘I cannot, I shall lose my company.’ ‘Who is your company?’ inquired Russell. “The Twelve.’ ‘The Twelve!’ ‘Yes, don’t you know that this is the 26th, and the day the Twelve were to take leave of their friends on the foundation of the Lord’s house, to go to the islands of the sea? The revelation is now fulfilled, and I am going with them.’ Russell was speechless, and Turley bid him farewell.”
The Lord’s word was vindicated. The prophecy was fulfilled.
(References: Evans, Richard L. Century of Mormonism in Great Britain, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1937. History of the Church, Vol. III, pp. 339-340. Smith, Lucy Mack. Proctor, Scot Facer and Proctor Maurine Jensen, eds. The Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996).
As we record this podcast early, because of our Church History Tour, this will be published about the time you and I will be standing on that very spot again at the southeast corner of the Far West Temple site. And we will feel that same Spirit again, the feeling lingers there to this day. This is faith and super faith and the legacy the Twelve left for us is priceless.
That’s all for today. Thanks for being with us. We truly love studying with you. Don’t forget we are offering The Kirtland Diary now for pre-sale, this beautiful diary for thoughts and personal revelation, at latterdaysaintmag.com/Kirtland that’s latterdaysaintmag.com/Kirtland. Next week we will be studying section 124 of the Doctrine and Covenants with a lesson entitled “A House Unto My Name.” Thanks to Paul Cardall for the beautiful music that accompanies this podcast and for our daughter, Michaela Proctor Hutchins who produces this show. Blessings to you and see you next time.