The martyrdom of Joseph Smith
I recently read an excerpt from the autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. In it Brother Pratt gives a lesser known version of the death of the Prophet Joseph. I first heard this account read aloud in my gospel doctrines class the other day, but the teacher was unfortunately cut off by the the objection of a distressed member of the congregation. I found it interesting to see the story told from a man who had deep insight as to the events which occurred before and after this tragic ordeal befell the Prophet Joseph and his family.
In his book brother Pratt describes every musket shot into the jail at Carthage, from the various shots through the floor, one rickocheting off the nose of one of the brethren.
Now Joseph acquired a six shooter at some point before the mob approached the jailhouse, and would use it to defend himself when they made their way up the stairs. with a hailstorm of bullets fired at them from every direction, Joseph fired his weapon through the door into the crowd of people and as prophesied the mob members were painted black. None of the men he shot died right away but what would happen to them later on, I can only describe as "the vengeance of the Lord" was carried out to the prophets persicutioners.
One man who received a bullet to the arm died weeks afterwards, after the flesh began to rot away from his body until his arm was completely deteriorated away. Later they found that maggots had entered his body and began to devour him from the inside out.
A similar report was given to Brother Pratt of two of the men who were laid up in a hospital in Sacramento, California. Though still boastful of their victory against the Church, the two were eaten alive by a type of black headed maggot that worked it's way through the vital system and completely destroyed the internals. Such was the grotesque manner of these two men's condition that leading up to the hours of their deaths they were isolated from the rest of the hospital due to the intense odor that permeated from their bodies as they were eaten alive.
One of the men became deteriorated to the point that while struggling for life his jawbone literally became detached from his face.
The hospital staff were in such a rush to dispose of the two decayed bodies that they did not wait for coffins to be constructed. They quickly gathered their flesh up into blankets and buried them outside of the hospital.
back to carthage
From the second story window of the jail house Joseph was shot from inside while attempting to escape. And after he laid on the ground, one of the mob members took a sword and grabbed him by the head in an attempt to decapitate the prophet. As the man raised his sword, a BOLT OF LIGHTNING CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN striking directly on the man's weapon as if it were a lightning rod! This event struck such fear into the hearts of the Mob that they quickly grabbed the paralyzed man who stood helplessly over the assassinated body of Joseph and they fled the scene.
Now I suppose you are wondering why Brother Pratt gave such explicite details of this event, and why I chose to share it with you.
First I would like to say that this is a sealed testimony that Joseph was a true prophet of god, and the Lord dealt out a true punishment to those who spilt innocent blood.
Next, I will refer you to the events which occurred in concentration camps in Germany. When President Eisenhower saw the scene of putrid death and human misery. He ordered his troops to take as much photo evidence as possible. When asked why, he replied;
"Because some day some son of a bitch will say that this never happened."