History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 259
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<​July 9​> “The bodies of the murdered men were removed to on the 28th, and were buried on the 29th. This event has caused the deepest mourning among the Saints, but they have not attempted to avenge the outrage.
“The has promised that the whole treacherous proceedings shall be investigated according to law, and the Saints have agreed to leave it with him, and with God to avenge their wrongs in this matter: there has been considerable excitement in the surrounding country, which is now in a great measure allayed. The action of the Saints has been of the most pacific kind, remembering that God has said ‘Vengeance is mine I will repay.’
“For further particulars we refer you to the statements of Messrs and , and other statements in the ‘Nauvoo Neighbor’ which we send you with this; and now, beloved brethren, we say to you all , as we say to the Saints here, be still and know that God reigns. This is one of those fiery trials that is to try the Saints in the last days. These servants of God have gone to heaven by fire— the fire of an ungodly mob.— Like the prophets of ancient days they lived as long as the world would receive them; and this is one furnace in which the Saints were to be tried, to have their leaders cut off from their midst and not be permitted to avenge their blood. [HC 7:173] God has said, Vengeance is mine, I have not called mine elders to fight their battles; I will fight their battles for them; and we know assuredly that he will do it in his own time, and we have only to wait in patience and pray for the fulfillment of the promise.
“This event is one of the most foul and damnable that ever disgraced the earth, having no parallel in time. Innocent men imprisoned without law, without justice, and murdered in cold blood in the enlightened ninteenth century, in an enlightened country in open daylight. It will call down the width and indignation of all nations upon the perpetrators of the horrid deed, and will prove the truth of the saying, ‘the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.’ They died for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
“God has not left his Church without witnesses; as in former days, so shall it be in the latter days, when one falls another will arise to occupy a similar station. Our Heavenly Father always has had a leader to his people— always will have, and the gates of hell can never prevail against the chosen of heaven.
“The murder of Joseph will not stop the work; it will not stop the ; it will not stop the gathering; it will not stop the honest in heart from believing the truth and obeying it, but it is a proof of the revelations we have received from heaven through him. He has sealed his testimony with his blood, he was willing to die, and desired only to live for the sake of the brethren.
“Two better men than Joseph and never lived. Two better men God never made. The memorial of their Godly lives is embalmed, printed with indelible ink in the memory of every honest heart, who knew their upright walk and conversation: but they are taken away by the hands of assassins, and of the foolish things of the earth God will raise up others to comfort and lead his people, and not one item of his word can fail. Jerusalem [p. 259]
July 9 “The bodies of the murdered men were removed to on the 28th, and were buried on the 29th. This event has caused the deepest mourning among the Saints, but they have not attempted to avenge the outrage.
“The has promised that the whole treacherous proceedings shall be investigated according to law, and the Saints have agreed to leave it with him, and with God to avenge their wrongs in this matter: there has been considerable excitement in the surrounding country, which is now in a great measure allayed. The action of the Saints has been of the most pacific kind, remembering that God has said ‘Vengeance is mine I will repay.’
“For further particulars we refer you to the statements of Messrs and , and other statements in the ‘Nauvoo Neighbor’ which we send you with this; and now, beloved brethren, we say to you all , as we say to the Saints here, be still and know that God reigns. This is one of those fiery trials that is to try the Saints in the last days. These servants of God have gone to heaven by fire— the fire of an ungodly mob.— Like the prophets of ancient days they lived as long as the world would receive them; and this is one furnace in which the Saints were to be tried, to have their leaders cut off from their midst and not be permitted to avenge their blood. [HC 7:173] God has said, Vengeance is mine, I have not called mine elders to fight their battles; I will fight their battles for them; and we know assuredly that he will do it in his own time, and we have only to wait in patience and pray for the fulfillment of the promise.
“This event is one of the most foul and damnable that ever disgraced the earth, having no parallel in time. Innocent men imprisoned without law, without justice, and murdered in cold blood in the enlightened ninteenth century, in an enlightened country in open daylight. It will call down the width and indignation of all nations upon the perpetrators of the horrid deed, and will prove the truth of the saying, ‘the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.’ They died for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
“God has not left his Church without witnesses; as in former days, so shall it be in the latter days, when one falls another will arise to occupy a similar station. Our Heavenly Father always has had a leader to his people— always will have, and the gates of hell can never prevail against the chosen of heaven.
“The murder of Joseph will not stop the work; it will not stop the ; it will not stop the gathering; it will not stop the honest in heart from believing the truth and obeying it, but it is a proof of the revelations we have received from heaven through him. He has sealed his testimony with his blood, he was willing to die, and desired only to live for the sake of the brethren.
“Two better men than Joseph and never lived. Two better men God never made. The memorial of their Godly lives is embalmed, printed with indelible ink in the memory of every honest heart, who knew their upright walk and conversation: but they are taken away by the hands of assassins, and of the foolish things of the earth God will raise up others to comfort and lead his people, and not one item of his word can fail. Jerusalem [p. 259]
Page 259