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

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 268
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<​July 15​> His foes of the world and enemies of his own household, who have sought occasions against him, in order, secretly to deprive him of his life, because his goodness, greatness and glory exceeded theirs, have a poor excuse to offer the world, for shedding his innocent blood; and no apology to make to the Judge of all the earth, at the day of judgement. They have murdered him because they feared his righteousness.
“His easy good natured way, allowing every one was honest, drew around him hypocrites, wicked and mean men, with the virtuous, and in the hour of trouble, or trial, when the wheat was cleansed by water, the light kernels and smut rose upon the top of the water and had to be poured off, that the residue might be clean, or to be still plainer, when they went through the machine for cleansing the grain, the chaff, light grain and smut were blown off among the rubbish.
“False brethren, or to call them by their right name, ‘apostates,’ [HC 7:186] have retarded the work more, and combined more influence to rob him of life, than all christendom: for they having mingled in his greatness, knew where and when to take advantage of his weakness. Their triumph, however, is one that disgraces their and , ruins them in time and in eternity. They cannot outgrow it: they cannot out live it: and they cannot out die it: from him that winked at it, to him that shot the fatal ball, where ever there is moral honesty, humanity, love of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, there the breath of indignation, the whisper of ‘those murders’— the story of mobocracy and the vengeance of God, will haunt the whole gang and their offspring and abettors with a fury like Milton’s gates of hell:
‘[blank] grating harsh thunder.’
“In thus descanting upon the glory of General Joseph Smith and the cowardly disgrace of his assassins, let his noble minded brother have no less honor shown him: he lived so far beyond the ordinary walk of man, that even the tongue of the vilest slanderer could not touch his reputation. He lived godly and he died godly, and his murderers will yet have to confess that it would have been better for them to have a millstone tied to them, and they cast into the depths of the sea, and remain there while eternity goes and eternity comes, than to have robbed that noble man of heaven, of his life. If there be such a thing as the greatest and least crimes, among the archives of the better world, the wilful murder of Joseph and will be first and worst, without forgiveness in this world or the world to come;— ‘for no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.’
‘The Savior said, wo until the world because of offences, but offences must needs come; but wo unto him by whom they come! Prophets have been sent, according to the sacred history, which all enlightened nations use as a guide of morality here, or for a rule to obtain heaven hereafter, to instruct and lead the people according to the pure purposes of God, and yet from Cain, down to two or three hundred Americans, Illinoisians, Missourians, Christians even freemen, the lives of mostly all these good men, the servants of God, not omitting his own Son, have been taken from them by those who professed to be the most wise, enlightened, intelligent, and religious, (that is nationally) that were on the earth when the hellish deeds were done. But what has the next generation said? Ah! time [p. 268]
July 15 His foes of the world and enemies of his own household, who have sought occasions against him, in order, secretly to deprive him of his life, because his goodness, greatness and glory exceeded theirs, have a poor excuse to offer the world, for shedding his innocent blood; and no apology to make to the Judge of all the earth, at the day of judgement. They have murdered him because they feared his righteousness.
“His easy good natured way, allowing every one was honest, drew around him hypocrites, wicked and mean men, with the virtuous, and in the hour of trouble, or trial, when the wheat was cleansed by water, the light kernels and smut rose upon the top of the water and had to be poured off, that the residue might be clean, or to be still plainer, when they went through the machine for cleansing the grain, the chaff, light grain and smut were blown off among the rubbish.
“False brethren, or to call them by their right name, ‘apostates,’ [HC 7:186] have retarded the work more, and combined more influence to rob him of life, than all christendom: for they having mingled in his greatness, knew where and when to take advantage of his weakness. Their triumph, however, is one that disgraces their and , ruins them in time and in eternity. They cannot outgrow it: they cannot out live it: and they cannot out die it: from him that winked at it, to him that shot the fatal ball, where ever there is moral honesty, humanity, love of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, there the breath of indignation, the whisper of ‘those murders’— the story of mobocracy and the vengeance of God, will haunt the whole gang and their offspring and abettors with a fury like Milton’s gates of hell:
‘[blank] grating harsh thunder.’
“In thus descanting upon the glory of General Joseph Smith and the cowardly disgrace of his assassins, let his noble minded brother have no less honor shown him: he lived so far beyond the ordinary walk of man, that even the tongue of the vilest slanderer could not touch his reputation. He lived godly and he died godly, and his murderers will yet have to confess that it would have been better for them to have a millstone tied to them, and they cast into the depths of the sea, and remain there while eternity goes and eternity comes, than to have robbed that noble man of heaven, of his life. If there be such a thing as the greatest and least crimes, among the archives of the better world, the wilful murder of Joseph and will be first and worst, without forgiveness in this world or the world to come;— ‘for no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.’
‘The Savior said, wo until the world because of offences, but offences must needs come; but wo unto him by whom they come! Prophets have been sent, according to the sacred history, which all enlightened nations use as a guide of morality here, or for a rule to obtain heaven hereafter, to instruct and lead the people according to the pure purposes of God, and yet from Cain, down to two or three hundred Americans, Illinoisians, Missourians, Christians even freemen, the lives of mostly all these good men, the servants of God, not omitting his own Son, have been taken from them by those who professed to be the most wise, enlightened, intelligent, and religious, (that is nationally) that were on the earth when the hellish deeds were done. But what has the next generation said? Ah! time [p. 268]
Page 268