Joseph Smith was out of town, and the meeting began with some of the brethren saying negative things about the Prophet Joseph. Soon a fight started. John quickly helped Emma Smith, Joseph’s wife, and their children gather their things and leave. John returned to the scuffle, which was quickly over. John rose from the ruckus, straightened his jacket, held his head high, and with majesty walked to the pulpit. Everyone watched him. He defended the Prophet, bearing testimony of the truth that had been revealed through Joseph Smith. The faithful members in the audience listened and agreed.
John was glad that the majority of the Saints in the meeting were still loyal to the Prophet. “I rejoiced to see the firmness, faith, integrity and joy of the faithful.” From then on, John became known as the ‘defender of the faith.’