Nauvoo, Illinois
Site of John Taylor home
Section (135)
Summer 1844
"Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord's anointed in ancient time, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!"
John Taylor’s tribute to the martyrs was included in the 1844 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, which was published in September or October of that year.
Doctrine and Covenants 135:3
Key Events
John Taylor lived on this property from 1841 to 1845.
Incarcerated with Joseph Smith in Carthage Jail, Taylor was a witness to the events of the martyrdom.
He may have penned his tribute to Joseph and Hyrum while recovering here from his own wounds inflicted at Carthage.
In 1880, John Taylor became the third President of the Church.
In 1841, John Taylor and Brigham Young returned from a highly successful mission served with the Twelve Apostles in England. They lived next to each other in Nauvoo. Brigham Young's home can be seen in the background.
Words of Joseph Smith
"God Almighty is my shield; and what can man do if God is my friend? I shall not be sacrificed until my time comes; then I shall be offered freely." (HC 5:259)
Words of John Taylor
"I testify that I was acquainted with Joseph Smith for years. I have traveled with him; I have been with him in private and in public; I have associated with him in councils of all kinds; I have listened hundreds of times to his public teachings, and his advice to his friends and associates of a more private nature. I have been at his house and seen his deportment in his family. I have seen him arraigned before the tribunals of his country, and have seen him honorably acquitted, and delivered from the pernicious breath of slander, and the machinations and falsehoods of wicked and corrupt men. I was with him living, and with him when he died, when he was murdered in Carthage jail by a ruthless mob . . . with their faces painted. I was there and was myself wounded; I at that time received four balls in my body. I have seen him, then, under these various circumstances, and I testify before God, angels, and men, that he was a good, honorable, virtuous man - that his doctrines were good, scriptural, and wholesome - that his precepts were such as became a man of God that his private and public character was unimpeachable - and that he lived and died as a man of God and a gentleman. This is my testimony . . . I therefore testify of things which I know and of things which I have seen." (The Gospel Kingdom, 355)
Copyright 2005 Steve Mortensen. All rights reserved.