Well, good evening, everybody. My name is Tom Pettit, and I’m pleased to be with you tonight. I am going to be talking to you about what I’m entitled, this biocide of the fate of the persecutors in the persecutors, being those who fought against Joseph and not only fought against Joseph, but looked to Joseph, look to his demise, not only his imprisonment, but those men who wanted to kill Joseph. And the questions I’m going to answer is, what happened to him?
What’s the fate of the persecutors? Did they get the notoriety and the publicity that they craved? Did they get the bounty which was set on Josef’s life? And what became of these men as they were looking to take Joseph down in order to not only take him in the church down, but to boost themselves for personal reasons, for political reasons, for economic reasons, social reasons, whatever? Whatever happened to him is a good question. It’s interesting.
And I’ve got several men and I want to take you through. We’re going to do it briefly on each of those individuals to give you an idea of what they their relationship with Joseph, what they did to Joseph, and ultimately what ended up happening to each one of them. Now, there are some some bad guys in church history, some names that you know, and I’m going to touch briefly on some of those names. I’m going to tell you about some individuals that you may not know, some lesser known individuals.
And I’m not even going to bring up a couple of names that might even surprise you. So let’s go ahead and get started. But before we do as well as I always do, let me just introduce quickly. My name is Tom Petty. I own Living Heritage Tours. I do church history tours to the sacred sites of the restoration, but doing it for a long time, taking thousands of people there. But it’s 20, 20, and now I can’t take anybody there.
So every Tuesday night I do this live where I take a topic from church history and I just go into it for 45, 60 minutes, really exhaust that single topic. We do. I do that weekly and then I’m recording it. So it’s archives. So if you go to my blog, Tom Petty dot com, and you can see all the past recordings and you can see the presentations that are coming up near the video that you’re watching, whether it’s on my blog or on YouTube, somewhere around it is the links to the blog, also to the listing of tours that are coming up.
If the virus goes away, we’ll go back to torse. And then if we don’t or even if we do, there’s also a link for virtual church history tour. So you can see all the tours and hear all the stories or see all the sights and hear all the stories just from your own home, if you like. But right now, we’re talking about the fate of the persecutors. So without further ado, we’ll go ahead and get started.
And the first one I want to tell you about is Samuel Hinkel. Samuel Hinkle was an individual who was leading the Missouri militia. So this is Missouri time frame in our church history. Well, we will go through the ins and outs of the Missouri saga and how everything happened with Hines Mill and Independence and Adam adamantium and in far worse than persecution and extermination. Or when I get to get into that, you know, enough about Missouri, that, you know, that it was a problem.
And a lot of that problem was caused by man, by the name of Samuel Lucas. Now, Samuel Luke has been the leader of the Missouri militia, the Missouri militia being this legal group of ruffians that that really harassed and pushed the members of the church around. Well, so much so that Joseph decided that he wanted to strike a peace deal with Samuel Lucas so that he would stop harassing people, would stop dying. And the church and the St.
Joseph and the others there in far west could get back to living their religion and practicing their religion and whatnot. And so a leader in all of the militia that was protecting the members of the church, he says his name is George Hinkle. And he says, hey, Joseph, I know Samuel Lucas. Let me go into that camp. I’ll strike a peace deal and let’s see if we can put this thing to rest so nobody else dies because John’s mill had to happen.
The Battle of Crooked River happened. David Patton, the president of the Cromwell of the 12 that was was murdered. And so there’s a lot of bad things, scary things that could be going on. And so they said, yes, let’s go down to Samuel Luke’s and strike a deal. Well, George Hinkle, he’s a bad guy to the doublecross, Joseph, because when Joseph and Hiram and a lot of others from well-known names from church history go into the camp of Samuel Lucas to sign the peace agreement, George Hinkle betrays Joseph and says, Captain Lucas, Samuel Lucas, here are the prisoners.
I promise you, there is no peace agreement. They were they conspired to get Joseph arrested. Well, we won’t spend time on Samuel Hinkle, although he is one of the persecutors of Joseph, he absolutely doublecross betrayed Joseph Effect Joseph. At that very moment when George Henkle turns them in, he turns to them and says, You Judas, you knew that he had been. All across, well, anyway, we’ll focus on George Hinkel at the moment because we want to look at Samuel Lucas.
So Samuel Lucas, he takes Joseph and Hyrum and others into custody and he declares that he is going to hang them in the town square tomorrow morning at eight o’clock. Well, luckily, there is a friend of Joseph, a non-member, who happened to be there on the scene by the name of Alexander Donovan, who stepped in and said, no, this is against the law and I’ll hold you again at a high tribunal if you move forward with these orders to have these men hung.
Well, Samuel Lucas said, OK, I will hang him. And then he started to conspire to get something more out of this, to get some personal gain and benefit. Here’s the Mormon prophet. Everybody had been trying to get their hands on him. And Samuel Lucas now had him in custody. And so he wasn’t going to let this opportunity go by. So he takes Joseph and Hyrum specifically, but there were others with him and he takes them down to Independence, Missouri, just where the Saints had recently, a couple of years ago been driven out.
That’s where the people hated the members of the church the most. And he was going to take them right down into the town of Independence, Missouri. And his idea was to literally parade them down the streets of independence so that all the townspeople can come out and see Samuel Lucas trophy and they’ll hell Samuel Lucas as a hero and they’ll love him and they’ll praise him. And what’s in it for Samuel Lucas? Not just the fame and whatever popularity, but he had political aspirations.
And he thought, if I can show the people in Jackson County that I, Samuel Lucas, got Joseph Smith arrested and I had him in custody, the Nilla liked me to any office that I want. He had high aspirations. He was going to go for the governor to be the governor of Missouri. Well, he takes him down. So here’s the fate of him. So this is this is what he’s trying to do. He takes them down.
He marches them through town. Everybody’s yelling and screaming and saying bad things and nasty things and whatnot. And Joseph has to just put up with it. And Hiram and the others and they get into the town square and Samuel Lucas puts Joseph up on a stage. Here’s his trophy. He got him. He got the prophet. And and he was so proud of himself. And he thought all the townspeople would be, too.
And this one lady in the in this group, and it was turning into a pretty hostile group as almost a mob, this hostile group. There was this lady there and she yells out, Hey, Joe, why don’t you prophesy to us? And Joseph looks over at Samuel Lucas and kind of gives him the look like, can I speak? Samuel Lucas nods and says, You go right ahead, Joseph. So Joseph does hears the prophet of God in shackles.
Right. And he’s standing on this platform in front of this angry mob. And with the permission of Samuel Lucas, he starts to speak to this woman and then eventually to this angry mob. And what does he start to speak about? He starts to testify and starts to teach and he starts to tell them about the history of the restoration as it had unfolded.
To that point, it talks about the first vision. He talks about the Book of Mormon, but he focuses on the savior Jesus Christ and what he teaches, what our church doctrine is in in regards to the savior and the atonement. And that’s where he spends the majority of his attention and the mob goes silent. You can just hear a pin drop if it weren’t for Joseph testifying. And when Joseph concludes his testimony, this lady turns on Samuel Lucas points her finger right at him, starts yelling at him, why are you doing this to such a good man?
He’s a Christian. We’re Christians. He’s just like us. He believes things that we believe in. Jesus Christ. He says he’s a good man and he shouldn’t be in shackles. He shouldn’t have arrested him for practicing his religion of Christianity. And the mob erupted against Samuel Lucas. What’s his fate? That is the end of him. He had a hard time finding a job. He wasn’t serving in the army anymore. And he certainly didn’t have any political ambition because it was gone.
Anybody who he was hoping to have vote for him had just turned against him. And that was the end of Samuel Lucas. Now, while we’re in Missouri, the most famous name that you would recognize is Governor Boggs. Now, Governor Boggs had been duped.
That does not excuse his actions, but he received letters that claimed that Joseph Smith was a bad guy and he was wanting to do bad things as far as taking over the state and eventually taking over all of America. Well, of course, none of that is true. They were written by men who want to tear Joseph down and turn the government against Joseph. So it wasn’t a warning. It was a conspiracy to bring Joseph down. Well, after receiving those letters, Governor Bugs believe those letters and said, well, we need to send out this extermination order that the.
The members of the church need to be driven from the state or exterminated, and because of that extermination order, the Saints were thrown out of the state of Missouri. Fifteen thousand members of the church had to march from far west in November and December, a very cold, miserable time of year in Missouri. And they had to march wherever they go. And they didn’t know. They just knew they had to get out. They went east. Well, we won’t we won’t follow that story that.
Well, I’ll get I’ll get on a tangent here in a minute. But whatever happened to Governor Boggs? Well, not as bad as you would think or hope, but not as bad as you think. When his term as governor ended, he decided to get out of politics and he and his wife moved to California, where things were starting to spring up and things were good and business was nice. And they ended up in Napa, California, and entered into a couple of businesses, got back into politics a little bit, some city councils and whatnot.
Nothing that brought him fame or fortune or notoriety, nothing really to report on the rest of his life.
But he didn’t have an early demise or anything like that either. So I think there’s not much of a story there on governor blogs. But because he’s the most famous name, I thought I’d at least mention him. Now, while we’re talking about governors, we’ll turn our attention to Governor Thomas Ford. Now, Thomas Ford was the governor of Illinois at the time. The Saints were, in our view or at the time that Joseph was was there, in our view, particularly at the time that he went to Carthage, things got so out of hand with Carthage and people thousands of people were so riled up on both sides, the people living in Nauvoo and the people living in the surrounding communities.
And they were armed. And there’s a lot of threats going on. The Thomas Ford actually came to Carthage to make sure that a civil war, a state civil war didn’t break out and that’s how high tensions were and how serious things were starting to get. So Thomas Ford was in town up until the night of or excuse me, the morning of the martyrdom. He left Carthage early in the morning on June. Twenty seventh, eighteen forty for Joseph and Hiram would be martyred.
So a few hours later that afternoon, Thomas Ford made some promises to Joseph before he left Nashville. You see, Thomas Ford was in town to make sure for two purposes. One, to make sure that a civil war didn’t break out, and two, to make sure that Joseph and Hiram lives were protected. There is a bad group called Carthage Grays in Carthage, and they just wanted to kill Joseph. And they didn’t care about justice or purpose or anything like that.
They just wanted him dead. Thomas Ford knew that. And so Thomas Ford brought his own troops. It was his troops that were set set at guard outside of Carthage jail to keep the Carthage Grays away. He fell in all those really quick. I’ve done a recording an hour long of Carthage jail that goes into great detail, but I’m just trying to keep keep it brief and stick to the purpose of tonight. And that’s on Thomas Ford and is the fate of Thomas Ford.
So he brought his troops to stand guard at Carthage to protect Joseph and Hyrum in. On the morning of the martyrdom, he dismissed his guards and with them he left Joseph and Hyrum and went to Nabu without them. And so with the guards gone, the governor’s guards gone.
Now, who comes to guard the jail? The Carthage Grays, the guys that just want to kill him. And so Thomas Ford leaves knowing full well that Joseph was going to die without him being there in town. In fact, he went to Narvo, not just to Nabu. He went to the Mansion House and he had brunch in the Mansion House served by Emma Smith. Porter Rockwell, without Thomas Ford knowing he was in the other room, overheard Thomas Ford tell the other men at the table, well, the deed has been done by surely the deed has been done by now.
The deed being that Joseph was dead. Thomas Ford betrayed Joseph.
He betrayed every moral compass in his body.
He turned against everything that that should have been right and should have been done not only as a as a decent human being, if he had been one, but as a political figure such as a governor of the state. He had complete control, complete authority. And he turned it all over to a bunch of thugs that were bloodthirsty just after Joseph’s life. And Thomas Ford completely knew it. They knew it and understood it. And he stood by me.
Let it happen. So what happened to him late in his life, which wasn’t very light. So martyrdom happens in eighteen forty four, Thomas. Four days in eighteen fifty six years later, he dies at the age of forty nine. Even in those days, that’s a young age, and so he he died young and soon after Carthage, but late in his life. So when he’s forty seven or forty eight years old, he writes of his own personal history.
He’s not dictating. He’s actually writing it. So I make that a point because these are literally his words are not embellished and exaggerated.
This is what he wrote as part of his history. Now it’s his words. So when he opens up the author of this history, that’s him. Thomas Ford, the author of This History feels degraded by the reflection that the humble governor of an obscure state who would otherwise be forgotten in a few years stands a fair chance. Like pilot and harried by their official connection to the true religion of being dragged down to posterity with an immortal name etched on to the memory of a miserable impostor.
Now, that’s 18 40 fancy language for I am no better than Pilot and Herrod. For I betrayed. The trust that was given me in my hands, an innocent man died.
Now it’s not it’s not that he’s comparing Joseph to the savior, he’s comparing himself to pilot and Herod, knowing that he made just as grave a mistake, the mistake being that he allowed an angry mob to kill an innocent man. He says in that quote, in modern language, I wish that I could just be forgotten. Like all other governors of obscure states, when the term ends, the governor leaves. And I’d like to just walk out the door and be forgotten, he says.
But I’ll never be forgotten. He says my name will be dragged down to posterity with an immortal name, meaning my name will live forever etched on to the memory of a miserable impostor. Now, why is he an impostor? Because he had an opportunity to act like a governor and he felt to. So, boy, he’d run. He knew. He knew. Now, when his term ended in eighteen forty six, he lived to he moved to a farming community called Peoria, Illinois, where he farmed.
Now things didn’t turn out well for him. Not only did he have this weighing on his conscience, but his wife died in 1850. He had to care, care for her from forty six to fifty. So for four years he’s her caretaker. She passes away. Seven months later, he contracts to Burkill tuberculosis, which is ultimately his fate, dying at the age of 49.
Now, when he left office, he wasn’t well-liked. And so he became he couldn’t get a job and his farm didn’t work because he’s focused on his wife. He became incredibly poor, destitute, so much so that when he died. The local undertaker had to solicit funds from members of the community to help pay for his burial, not his funeral. Here’s the former governor of the state.
They’re not parading him around and putting on this. He’s not laying in state.
They just collect just enough cash to pay somebody to dig a hole.
That’s how he ended up know. We talked about two governors. Let’s go step higher. Let’s talk about a president of the United States, Martin Van Buren. Martin Van Buren is sitting in the White House.
And Joseph, go let’s go back to Missouri. He petitions the governor of Missouri. Hey, things in Jackson County are not good. What is the governor to go to the court systems, let the law see this through. The justice system is good and right. We have faith in it. Trust in it. Well, the judges sitting on the bench were the leaders of the mobs the night before the trials. Right. And so that wasn’t happening.
And Joseph. And it didn’t happen. Men, women and children died. Those who didn’t die had unspeakable things happen to them.
The property stolen, people were beaten. People are killed. And Joseph goes to the goes to the governor says, go to the courts. It doesn’t happen. He goes back to the governor. He says, no, I’m not going to help you. The courts don’t help you. You’re on your own. And so here’s this band of followers of the Prophet. They have nowhere to go and they’ve lost all their constitutional rights.
Well, it’s not part of the Constitution.
Declaration of Independence is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but their constitutional rights that they did lose freedom of speech and none was given to them because and a fair trial not given to them and protection of property and those rights and of course, freedom of religion, all of those constitutional rights and others are stripped from them.
So what does Joseph do? Well, he starts to walk and he walks to Washington, D.C. He gets an appointment with President Van Buren. He gets they have an Oval Office at the time that Van Buren is in his personal study, they call it, in the upstairs residence of the White House. So here’s Joseph. He walks through the front door, goes up the stairs into the residence area of the White House, sits down with President Van Buren in regions with him.
And he recounts everything that went on in Missouri that I just very, very briefly just told you.
And Van Buren listens to him and he says, gentlemen, your cause is just but I could do nothing for you.
And if I take up for you, I shall lose the vote in Missouri. You see, Van Buren was campaigning for his second term as president of the United States.
And in order to become president, you’ve got to get the not only the most votes, but you’ve got to get the most electoral votes in Missouri was carrying a lot of electoral votes and it was somewhat of a swing state back then. And he needed Missouri in order to win the presidency. That was clear. And he tells Joseph in Sydney, your cause is just but I could do nothing for you because if I take care of you, the Missourians are going to turn on me.
They won’t vote for me and I’m out the door. And so he says, no, I can’t I can’t do it for you. I can’t help you. Well, what has the Van Buren he lost anyway? He just lose Missouri. He lost he lost a bunch of other states, too. And so pathetic became his lot that in eighteen forty six he goes back to his party and says, I want to run again.
And they turn their back on him and say, not a chance. You’re, you’re a has been politician. We don’t want anything to do with you. He lost not only the election, but he lost all of his political opportunities at any level of government. Again, now losing out on a political gig. Was that his fate? I think it was more than that. Unfortunately for him, it’s a story from the eighteen late seventies, late teen age seven, eighteen, late seventies, eighteen seventies in the late 80s.
At the time, it was elder Wilford Woodruff and he was president of the St. George Temple. And you may know this story. He’s there in the temple. He’s got a little bedroom in the St. George Temple. He’s living there. And late one night he’s passing through the celestial room. He tells the story in general conference and he’s passing through the celestial room. And lo and behold, who does he meet? General George Washington and General George Washington scolds him.
And he says you’ve had the Endowment House for years and you have given no thought to doing the work for us. Who’s us? Everybody stand behind him. All the signers of the.
Declaration of Independence and all the US presidents up to that point, with the exception of Martin Van Buren and many other notable individuals, were there and he scolds him and he says, imagine General George Washington coming from the other side and meeting you late one night in the temple and going toe to toe, probably waving his finger in your face and saying you’ve had the endowment. What’s the endowment house? Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to build, so the Lord allowed them to put up a temporary endowment house where they could perform temple ordinances while they were waiting for the temple to be built.
When the temple was built, they took down the endowment house down. The house is located where Temple Square is today, he says. You’ve had years with the endowment. Has you given no thought to us? And yet you practice the religion that we set, the very foundation of a government that you could practice your religion, in other words, the blessings you’re able to enjoy.
The credit goes to us, and you’ve given that you haven’t taken care of us. Well, Wilford Woodruff goes to bed and gets up the next day, goes about his business and his work. That next night he’s passing through the Celesta Room. And who’s there? General George Washington A. I thought we talked about this. How can you haven’t gotten to work? Well, immediately. He didn’t go back to his bed. It was late at night.
He went and woke somebody up and they went to the baptism of fire. They got baptized. He I don’t think he wanted to cross General George Washington a third time, but that’s almost the side story. But the fact is, is Martin Van Buren was not there. Martin Van Buren was not baptized by Wilford Woodruff. And I don’t know this answer, but it leads to a curious question. Was Martin Van Martin Van Buren wasn’t there? That’s a fact.
But was he not there because he chose not to be there or was he not permitted to be there? I don’t know. There is one other president who wasn’t there, and that was James Buchanan. James Buchanan was president of the United States at the time that he that Johnstons army sent under the direction of the president.
The United States was sent to Utah to put down a bogus uprising of Brigham Young in the sites they harassed the Saints. So was that a fate of one of the persecutors? Maybe because James Buchanan was the other one who wasn’t there at that time, now Highbridge Grant. So another 50 years would pass by and he would grant instructed somebody to be baptized for all the presidents of the United States, those who weren’t baptized by Elder Woodruff up until that present day.
And so Buchanan and and Van Buren were baptized, but not until the eighteen thirties or excuse me, the nineteen thirties. But that’s the interesting question I’ve often thought about. Did he choose not to be there or was he not permitted to be there? OK, let me tell you about Stephen Douglas. Stephen A. Douglas. You’ll know that name. What’s he famous for. The the the Lincoln Douglas debates. Abraham Lincoln running for president. Stephen A. Douglas is running for president.
And they were kind of the first candidates to have public debates. And so that’s what he’s he’s famous for. He would have been famous for being president, but he turned his back on the Saints and fulfilled a prophecy of Joseph Smith. And here’s how the story goes. Stephen Douglas was a friend to the church in the 1930s when the Saints were in Nashville. In the eighteen forties, Joseph and Stephen Douglas were really good friends. He was a lawyer and later a judge.
And he was very friendly to Joseph and the members of the church. And he was on their side and he defended the Saints and ruled in favor when he was a judge would rule in favor of the Saints. And so Joseph and Stephen A. Douglas had a really good relationship. Well, it was they were there one day, Inuvo having lunch and Stephen A.. Douglas asks Joseph, tell me tell me about all those problems that your church had in Missouri.
Well, Joseph started talking and he didn’t stop talking for three hours, told them all about the horrific things that happened in Missouri. Steven and Douglas had sympathy. He had compassion.
And he knew that not only morally but legally, the Saints had been wronged.
And it was right at that moment that Joseph, now Stephen Douglas, wasn’t in a position to redress those wrongs. But it was at that moment that Joseph gave a prophecy. He says, Judge, you will aspire to the presidency of the United States. And if you ever turn your hand against me or the Latter day Saints, you will feel the weight of the hand of the almighty upon you. And you will live to see and know that I had testified.
The truth to you for the conversation of this day will stick to you through life.
That was in the early eighteen forties. Stephen A. Douglas would aspire all the way to the presidency. Before he got there. He had these debates with Lincoln. So Lincoln’s the Republican challenger and our candidate and Stephen A. Douglas represents the Whig Party at H.I.G.. And they they have these debates. Now, Stephen Douglas had taken the necessary steps from from this political office to this one to this one that he had. The pedigree he had, the popularity the Whig Party in its day at this day was at its pinnacle.
It was the place to be when it came to being a part of a political party. It was very big, very powerful, having members of its party throughout every political position throughout America. And it was the wealthiest, therefore the most powerful of the day as well. This is Stephen A. Douglas, the backing of the Whig Party. The popularity was off the scales and it was just a shoo in. Everybody knew that he was just walking into the White House when he declared his candidacy.
Well, so much so that he didn’t really get much of a challenge from anybody. And so some obscure farm boy who had been in Congress for a term by the name of Abe Lincoln decides to throw his hat into the ring and says if nobody essentially if nobody else will, I’ll give it a shot. And so this little unknown Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, was predicted to just slam him. You know, this is going to be a landslide with the electoral votes.
So they going through these debates and somebody asks about Brigham Young and the Saints out in Utah territory and Abraham Lincoln, he thinks about the question is what?
What are you going to do with Brigham Young and the potential problem that’s going on out there out West? And Abraham Lincoln, he thinks for a minute and he says he starts to tell a story, as he always did, to answer his questions. He says, you know, when I was a farm boy back in Illinois. One of my responsibilities was to plow the farm, plow the field, and he said we had this plow and we’d be moving it along and it was very difficult to move, move it along, but it became impossible to move it when you hit a rock.
And he said, Whenever I hit a rock, I had a choice.
I could either spend a considerable amount of time and energy getting that rock out and removing it, or I could just plow around that rock, he says as president.
That’s what I would do with Brigham. I would just plow around him. I’m not going to bother him under the assumption that he’s not going to bother me. It’s a pretty good answer.
Stephen A. Douglas is trying to answer.
He says this The knife must be applied to this disgusting cancer, which is going into the very vitals of the body politic. It must be cut out by the roots and smeared over by the red hot iron, off of stern and unflinching law. Repeal the organic law of the territory on the grounds that they are alien enemies and outlaws unfit to be the citizens of a territory much less to ever become citizens of the free and independent states of this Confederacy. That’s pretty harsh words, I think for a moment he forgot about the prophecy of his old friend, Joseph Smith.
What happens? Well, the political pundits of the day were right.
It was a landslide in the election for Lincoln. Everybody was shocked. Now historians will give you different excuses and they’ll argue different reasons and try to come up with something to explain this phenomenon that happened.
But anybody who knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God understands real quickly and easily why Stephen Douglas lost. And that’s because he turned his back on the members of the church. And as Joseph prophesied, that if he did that, he would lose the election to be president of the United States. So what happens after the election? Stephen Douglas dies seven months later, completely poor because he was an embarrassment. He not only died poor, but he died lonely.
He didn’t have a friend in the world. He was an embarrassment. He became an outcast for those seven months, were very lonely, very miserable and also sick. Of course, moments for for Stephen A.. Douglas dying a pathetic, pathetic way. So now let’s talk about Frank Werle. There’s a name you haven’t heard about Frank Worrell. He was the leader of the Carthage Grace. I remember a moment ago I was telling you about Thomas Ford and about the Carthage Grays.
They’re the bad guys. Well, even though they’re the bad guys, they have had somewhat of a leadership organization to to to the madness, to the mess.
And that leader was Frank Worrell. So when we say what role did Frank Worrell have at Carthage, we don’t know where he was when the fatal bullets were shot. Was he behind the gun? I don’t know.
But if whether he was or wasn’t or if he was, he at least ordered the guns to be fired. He allowed the men to storm the stairs, push the door, pushed the door open and take those fires and fatally kill the prophet.
So it was under his leadership and his command that Joseph and Hiram died. Well, it wasn’t too many months later that a man by the name of Porter Rockwell.
I said, too many months, I got ahead of myself before Carthage, a man by the name of Porter Rockwell was deputized, meaning he became a deputy, he was the law man in Nashville. And so he had the legal authority to take the law into his hands. So Frank Worrell decides a few months after Carthage that he in Carthage Grays are going to storm Nashville and start to shoot the place up, not take prisoners and create real devastation, a massacre.
And so as they start coming into town, the lawman, Porter Rockwell, goes out to confront them. Frank Warrell is Brigham Young said that Frank Worrell killed Joseph.
And do we know I just explained to you we don’t know if he was behind the gun, but whether he was behind the gun or he ordered the gun to be shot. Briggs was right. Frank Worrell had Joseph’s hands on him, blood on his hands, and everybody knew who Frank Worrell was. Well, Paul Rockwell sees Frank while leading this group of Carthage Grays into Nashville, ready to kill people. And what does the man do? He shoots Frank World dead.
Frank Worrell dies right there on the streets of Nashville. Paul Rockwell would later get an assignment from Brigham Young, Brigham Young. He was one of the first to leave Nashville. They get out to what became known as winter quarters. And Porter was with him. And Brigham starts to hear the saints back in Nauvoo are still being harassed. And so Joseph or Brigham says to Patrice’s, I’ve got a mission for you. Will you accept it?
And without knowing what the mission was, Porter says, Of course, I’m going to do it. Whatever you want. I’m your man. He says, I want you. Brigham says the porter says, I want you to go and turn yourself in for the murder of Frank Werle and Porter. Rockwell says, OK, not really knowing why. So he goes back into Nashville, he finds the sheriff and he says, hey, it’s me, it’s Porter Rockwell.
I’m the guy that shot and killed Frank Worrell. The sheriff said, well, you murdered man. We’re going to have to turn you in to the court system. Porter Rockwell went in there for four months now. The Carthage Grays wanted to avenge Frank Warhol’s death. And so all their focus was on Porter Rockwell in jail. So with all their focus on Porter, none of them noticed that the thousands of saints of Nauvoo were slipping across the Mississippi River unharmed.
Is that a part of the Exodus story that you’ve heard before because of Porter Rockwell? Everybody everybody was able to get out safely because he diverted the attention and said, hey, come look at me. Come pay attention to me. You want to kill me? Focus on me, focus on me, focus on me. And while they are, everybody’s quietly slipping out of Nauvoo. Well, for months go by and Porter has his day in court.
Court session lasted just a few minutes because it was shown that Porter Rockwell was a deputy and Frank Worrell was coming to kill people. And so Porter acted in self defense and Porter’s handcuffs were taken off and he was free to go.
So I went on a little tangent there to tell you a wonderful Porter Rockwell story. But Frank Worrell, he he only lived a few weeks. That was his fate. Orson Hyde, you didn’t think I’d say that name. Now you’ve heard Orson High, but a persecutor, I thought those who were talking about Orson High, you know who he was. He was one of the greatest missionaries of this dispensation. He went on the first missionary assignment with Heber Kimball to England and was responsible.
As responsible as a missionary is, we know that people are converted by way of the spirit. But he was as responsible as a missionary could be for the conversion of thousands of European saints who eventually immigrated and became a tremendous support to the church in the Salt Lake Valley. Did you know there was a time in the Salt Lake Valley when there were more British citizens than American?
Well, you know that name, because not only did he do that great work, but he was also one of the original 12 apostles. Well, there’s a lot of things about Orson Hyde. Let me tell you a little bit about him and why then you’ll you’ll see here, as I tell his whole story, as to why I put him under the category of a persecutor of the prophet.
So Orson had he ran away from home when he was about 14 and he just worked odd jobs over in Connecticut. And he started to make his way west and further west and further west and further west until finally he was hired as just kind of a handyman, a hired hand for a man by the name of milk, Whitney Whitney, of course, you know who he was and living in Kirtland. Well, if you’ve been to the Newark Whitney story, you’ve seen Orson Hyde’s bedroom.
It was right next to the Prophet Joseph’s bedroom and just down the hall from the room that they used to as the school, the profits. Well, so, of course, he starts to hear about the Book of Mormon and he goes out on a self-proclaimed mission or assignment that he’s given himself to preach against the Book of Mormon. And he’s telling anybody who will listen how horrible the Book of Mormon is.
He’ll know when he goes to his employer, he says or said, Have you ever read the Book of Mormon? Now, of course, I’m never going to read that book.
How can you be preaching against the book you’ve never read? Don’t you think you ought to read the book so that you know what to what’s wrong with it? Don’t you think you’re preaching would be stronger if you knew what was actually in the book? Orson says that’s a great idea. I got to read the book so that I know how to attack it. So he reads the book and what happens? Of course, he fills the spirit of it and he wants to be baptized.
Sidney Rigdon baptized.
So he gets to work like no one had before and probably no one sense in trying to build up the kingdom. He went he went just as hard, as fast as he could to gather Israel and to do everything he could to serve the Lord and be obedient to the prophet and anything that the prophet asked him to do. Well, the prophet would ask him to serve thirteen different missions in eighteen thirty to. Joseph prophesied of one of those missions, he says, by laying on his hands, his hands on his head in due time, thou shalt go to Jerusalem.
That’s where you know the name Warsan Hyde, right? Hyde Park. In due time, thou shalt go to Jerusalem, the land of my fathers, and be a watchman unto the house of Israel and by thy hands shall the most. I do a good work which shall prepare the way and greatly facilitate the gathering together of the people.
This is the Orson Hyd 13 missions. You’re going to go dedicate the land of Israel. You’re going to go to Jerusalem. There’s probably no member of the church has ever been to Jerusalem. You’re going to go and dedicate it. And before he does that, he’s going to do a bunch of other missions. Like I told you, you went to England for a long time. But other things that he did, they had the school, the prophets.
Guess who their teacher was. Orson Heide, Orson Hiders is the man who would stand up in the school, the prophets, and teach the members of the first presidency and members of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles and others. He was their spiritual leader. He was called to be a clerk of the first presidency. So he was in all the first presidency meetings entrusted with that information. He would write as Joseph would dictate revelations and patriarchal blessings. He was entrusted with that.
He was one of many who in Kirtland saw the savior. He had a sure testimony of the resurrected savior in the Kirtland Temple. He saw angels on dedication day. He was with Joseph Joseph, right hand man in Zion’s camp. And unlike some people in science camp, he never uttered a word of complaint. He was always faithful, did his job, did his responsibilities that were entrusted to him, and he did them well. He was called to be an apostle.
He one of the first apostles. He was he was called to be an apostle of the first quorum of the Twelve Apostles, one of the original twelve. And in that setting apart Oliver Cowdrey, who was setting him apart, says this to Orson.
We know that he meaning Orson, we know that he loves the Lord. And may this thy servant be able to walk through pestilence and not be harmed. And the powers of darkness have no ascendancy over him. May he be like one of the three Nephites Orson hide under the hand of Oliver. Cowdery is promised that he will be like one of the three Nephites.
Now, does Orson Hyd live today like the three Nephites? I don’t think so. I don’t think that was the point. But the point being that nothing, nothing will get in his way of rolling the gospel forward, gathering Israel. There’s nothing that will stand in his way, just like the three Nephites. Nothing stands in their way of bringing about the fulfillment of the gathering of Israel and the other promises, the old covenant that the Lord has made.
He’s just at that level with them.
So how do we how we make amends and persecutions? Well, in eighteen thirty six and things started going a little south in Kirtland and some people were starting to murmur about Joseph and and saying that, that he’s not the property he used to be and also got caught up in that. And one night, one time he said, yeah, you know, I don’t think Joseph is the prophet he used to be. There might be a chance that he’s a fallen prophet.
I don’t know what that meant as far as he’s not a prophet. He used to be. But anyway, he got caught up in that and he made that statement that night. He couldn’t sleep. It bothered him. It just took him to pieces that he had said such a horrible, horrific thing that he knew wasn’t true about the prophet. He goes to find Joseph the next day. He finds him in the Kirtland Temple. And when he walks in, he witnesses Joseph with his hands on GBC Kimballs head Setti Heber Kimball apart as a missionary to go to the British Isles, the very first missionary to England, to Europe.
And at the conclusion of that setting apart, Joseph turns and sees Orsa knowing what Orson had said the previous night. He begged Joseph’s forgiveness. He says, I didn’t mean it. And Joseph says, I know. I know you didn’t mean it. And it’s OK. I forgive you. I understand. And Orson says Joseph, truly, I didn’t mean it so much. So I want to show it to you. Can I go with Heber Kimball to England?
And Joseph says, Yes, come here. Sit down. He sets him apart right there on the spot. Now, mind you, 12 hours earlier, he was badmouthing the prophet. And what is Joseph saying? Not a word of defense to himself, but he says yes or you’re still called, you’re still chosen, you’re still the awesome hide. Let me set you apart and send you on your way to England where you had that tremendous success that I had explained a few minutes earlier.
Well, he gets back from that trip to England. He’s gone 11 months. When he gets back to Kirtland, it’s like a ghost town. Everybody’s gone. What happened?
The Saints have been driven out there now in far west. So he walks another thousand miles and he ends up in far west end. He gets sick, so sick that he’s not interacting with the other saints, so sick that he’s not interacting with the other members of the Quorum of the Twelve. And a man who’s not a member of the church any longer by the name of Thomas B. Marsh. You’ve heard that name, Thomas B. Marsh comes to visit Orson hide and and to take care of him and to be with him.
And that’s really the only interaction Orson has in Far West with anybody is Thomas B. Marsh. Now, Tahmasebi Marsh at this point in the story has been excommunicated. He’s very bitter, not only bitter towards the church, but very bitter towards Joseph specifically. And so he starts feeding Orson, hide some bad information. Now, who what’s Orson to do? Here’s a fellow, a former president of the Quorum of the Twelve, a fellow quorum member who he trusted, who he had been on missions with, who he had had this great brotherly love and affection for.
And he starts to believe him that what Thomas Marsh is saying and Thomas Marsh is telling things like it had been said in Kirtland of Josef’s, a fallen prophet, Joseph isn’t receiving a revelation like he used to. Joseph’s getting caught up in a power and authority, and he wants to raise up a legion of troops and he wants to take over the state of Missouri to wrong to right the wrongs that have been done to the Saints in Jackson County. Well, these are the things that are starting to get into Orson’s head, and he doesn’t know any different.
So Tahmasebi Marsh, the bad guy he was at the time, he comes into office and after drilling into his mind, manipulating him and convincing him of these untruths, he comes to visit. Orson had one day and he had written a letter, Thomas P. M. outlining all these horrible things about Joseph and Tahmasebi. Marsh signs his name to the letter and he says, Orson, I want you to read this letter. You see, my name is signed at the bottom of the letter.
He says, I want you to sign your name to.
To this letter about all the horrible things that Joseph is or whatever, and Orson, he was just smart enough. To see the potential trap and so not he did sign his name, but he wrote a little PostScript piece. And he writes. The themes contained in this letter, I don’t know to be true, but I believe them to be true. He was smart enough to make that statement, but not smart enough to keep his signature off that letter without verifying the truthfulness of it.
That letter was sent by Thomas Marsh to the governor, who was Governor Boggs with that letter in hand, a former apostle and a current apostle’s signature on the letter, Governor Boggs believed it to be true. And with that letter he issued or because of that letter, he issued the extermination order. Now, Orson Hyde is one of the prosecutors. Because with that extermination order in hand, the mob had free reign to kill any man, woman or child who belonged to the church before they could do that.
The Saints got out of town, got out of St.. But before they left, we go back to that original story of Samuel Lucas and George Hinkel betraying the prophet Joseph. Remember Samuel Lucas about a half hour ago, I was telling you about him. He got Joseph in shackles and took him to independence and paraded them around. Well, when Samuel Lucas’s story ended in the way that he didn’t want it to end, what happened to Joseph? He went to Liberty Jel.
That’s where these stories are starting to collide now. Joseph was betrayed and ended up in independence, went to Richmond, Missouri, to that jail for a short time, and then he went for a longer stay in the Liberty jail. Now, because of betrayal, because of conspiring, conspiring, because of wicked men, Joseph ended up in Liberty Jail in the Saints. Fifteen thousand of them had to get out of town, leaving behind their property, their personal possessions, and run for their life over a frozen prairie, hoping to make it.
Across the Mississippi River and into Illinois before being killed. And why was Joseph in the Liberty? Why did 15 thousand members of the church had to flee under the threat of being killed? Because Orson Hide signed a letter saying that Joseph Smith was a bad guy. And with that letter in hand, Governor Boggs issued the extermination order or arsenide. But that’s not the end of the story. It gets better. In fact, it gets awesome. Thomas B.
Marsch. Eventually, after the Saints get into the Salt Lake Valley, he decides that he wants to be a member of the church again. He goes to Salt Lake, he repents, he gets baptized. But I can tell you the whole story about Taspinar. So let’s stick with Orson. Hyd Orson Hyd decides to go back to church, but he doesn’t wait until the Saints are in Salt Lake. He goes to Narvo. He follows the Saints.
Soon after Josef’s been released from the Liberty Jeil. The Saints are now in Nauvoo. Novotelnov is started to prosper and Joseph is sitting in his in his home having breakfast one morning and he looks out the window and looks down the street and he sees a man walking towards his house and he’s walking very slowly. He’s slumped over his head down. He was dreading this meeting with Joseph.
As Joseph gets or as the man gets a little bit closer, Joseph recognizes that it’s worse inside the mind.
You, Joseph had spent six miserable months in the liberty. Celle, his wife and four children had to scrounge whatever they could for themselves to survive getting out of far west and across the prairie. This was personal to Joseph. He and his family had suffered physically, emotionally, mentally because of this man beyond Joseph’s family and himself were the fifteen thousand members of the church who had also suffered physically, mentally, emotionally and no doubt spiritually as well.
Here’s the meeting. Orson Hyde approaching Joseph’s house. What does he do? He leaves the breakfast table, he opens up the front door and he runs towards Orson Hyde.
Can you imagine seeing the profit? Big profit, six four two hundred thirty pounds come barreling down the street right at you. And you had been the cause of so much misery, so much pain and anguish and loss of life and property and liberty. And here comes Big Joseph running straight to you. What is worse than I think? He can’t outrun Joseph. He knows that. So he just waits and Joseph gets there to him and throws his arms around him.
And both men weep in each other’s arms and they just cry, and when they’re able to compose themselves, Joseph without a single word, Orson walks him, ushers him back to his home, sits about his table and feet and breakfast. I don’t know if there’s if there’s a record that shows that Joseph and Orson ever had a conversation about the letter Extermination Order, Liberty Jel exodus out of far west, I don’t know if they I don’t know of a single conversation they ever had, or at least I don’t know of one that’s been recorded.
Joseph instantly forgave. He was called again to fill a vacancy in the corner of the 12. He was put right back where he was prior to his his extermination because he had been extermination, exterminated, not exterminated. Excuse me. Excuse me. He had been excommunicated for what he had done, but he was called back into the quorum of the Twelve to serve that that high and sacred position.
On October twenty four, eighteen forty one, he reached the Mount of Olives in Israel, in Jerusalem. And there he dedicated the land of Israel for the gathering of the Jews to fulfill that prophecy. When the prophet Joseph passed away, Sydney Rigdon thought that he should be president of the church and as we know, Sidney was president of the Congo. He didn’t have to have the keys. He wasn’t a member of the 12. And so he wasn’t the one that should be the president of the church.
And because of that, he became disassociated with the church and he he left the church. Brigham Young said none other than Orson hide to go and try to reclaim Sidney Rigdon. Now, remember, it was Sidney Rigdon who had taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to Orson and had baptized Orson. And now the roles were reversed where Orson was now trying to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to Sidney in hopes of bringing him back to church. Sidney really didn’t come back to church all over.
Cowdrey has his own story where he was excommunicated. He decided to come back to church, but when he did, the Saints weren’t. In our view. He and his wife wanted to get to Salt Lake, but he passed away before they made it. But he went to winter quarters to seek baptism. Now, who’s in charge of the church in winter quarters? Who was left in charge by Brigham? None other than Orson Hyde. Oliver Cowdrey goes to Orson Hyde, begs the church’s forgiveness for the things that he had done to make him get himself excommunicated.
And it was Orson Hyde who convened a council with the High Council to determine when Oliver Cowdery should be admitted back into the church.
They were led by Orson. They freely and quickly forgave Oliver. And and he was he was baptized by Orson Hyde. Now, which is interesting, like Sidney, Orson Hyde had been ordained an apostle set apart as an apostle by Oliver Cowdery. And now here we’ve got the roles reversed again. Orson Hyde is now baptizing Oliver Cowdrey.
It was in winter quarters. Britain went to Salt Lake and he came back to winter quarters. And while he was there, it was Orson Hyde who made the recommendation that it’s time it’s been two and a half years. It’s time to reorganize excuse me, three and a half years. It’s time to reorganize the first presidency. And he recommended that Brigham Young become president. And with that motion, Orson, because of seniority and whatnot, he was then ordained the president of the Quorum of the Twelve, where he served in that position for twenty eight years, which is still a record for having served the longest tenure as president of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Now, when the Quorum of the Twelve was originally set up, the order who’s who sits in the first seat and all the way down to the twelve, what’s the seniority? Has that organized? Joseph set it up that it was by birth date. The oldest guy here, the youngest guy here. You know, you got worldly experience at this point making the difference. I suppose it was Brigham who decided to reshuffle it and say no seniority is going to be based on who has apostolic experience.
So who who’s been the apostle the longest? Well, with that reshuffling, Orson Hide went from president to the third chair behind John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff had that reorganization not taken place. Orson Hide would have been president of the church instead of John Taylor, maybe even or Wilfred Woodruff. Anyway. You see, Orson, he made a big time mistake and it cost of his membership for a time. But through the atonement of Jesus Christ, it was taken care of.
It was it was fixed to where not only could he come back into the church and but it was more than that. He was able to reclaim his position, not as a member of the twelve, although he did, but his position as effective instrument in the hands of the Lord. That’s what he was all the way up to the time of excommunication. He served thirteen missions. And when he got back, his standing was good with the church.
What did the Lord do with him? He had him help further the building up of the Kingdom of God. Now here’s here’s a quote from the book of Matthew in the New Testament. And when I read this and I think of these guys who persecuted Joseph, I think this is a great description of Joseph. We often talk about the characteristics of Joseph. We quote from people who knew Joseph. But I think Matthew, the apostle Matthew was describing Joseph when he said, love your enemies, bless them, that curse you do good to them, that hate you and pray for them, which to spitefully use you and persecute you.
I think, Joseph. He had to and he did do that. We have example after example of him doing just that fact. One quick example, it’s actually two is when he was in jail, the Liberty Bell and later Carthage jail. What did he spend his time doing? He preached the gospel to the guards and the guards listened, not the Carthage Grays, but the guards in liberty, particularly. And some of those guards who were there initially in Carthage listened.
And they felt the spirit. And they they they would have known that the things that he was saying are true. Well, there was a lot of persecutors of the Prophet Joseph, unfortunately for him, but he weathered it all. He got through it all. He persevered through it all. And Heavenly Father was able to utilize Joseph to the very last day of his life in restoring the church, building up the kingdom of God, establishing an organization with powers and authority and knowledge and revelation and leaders with keys to that authority and power in revelation so that you and I could be recipients of all the blessings that are contained in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
That’s my testimony that I leave with you, and I do so in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.