Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith
Prophet, Seer and Revelator

Saturday, April 28, 2012

John Taylor: Missouri Exodus

Before John left Missouri with his family, he went to visit the Prophet in Liberty jail. Leonora made a basket of food for the prisoners. The jailer told John he couldn’t see the inmates. But John gave the guards an apple pie that Leonora sent to thank them for their care of the prisoners. John talked with the guards as they ate the pie. Soon the guards decided John could visit with the prisoners and give them the food Leonora had sent. The jailer opened the cell and let John in. The stink in the darkened room was almost unbearable. “The room was heavy with smoke; the tiny stove . . . had little draft. Beds were mounds of moldy straw on the floor; sanitary facilities consisted of a pitcher, basin, and reeking commode. Confined in this dank room, fourteen feet square, was the presidency of the restored church of Christ, Joseph, Hyrum and Sidney . . . [along with] Lyman Wight, Caleb Baldwin, and Alexander McRae.”15 The prisoners thanked John for the food; and John left, saddened, not knowing if he would ever see the Prophet again. With a heavy heart, filled with prayers for the Prophet, John took his family to Illinois. Heavenly Father used John’s leadership and speaking skills to further His work on the earth. John was obedient and faithful to the callings he was given, and he loved and defended the Prophet Joseph Smith. With faith, John became an apostle of the Lord

Monday, April 23, 2012

John stopped for a couple of months near Indianapolis, Indiana, so that Leonora could have their baby, a second son. John worked during that time, building furniture and making a carriage for the family. By the time they arrived in Missouri, violent mobs harassed the Saints daily. The Prophet Joseph was captured and sent to Liberty Jail. The Prophet knew John was a gifted writer and asked John to help compose a statement about the persecution of the Mormons. John did so. But when it was given to President Van Buren, he did nothing. Governor Boggs of the State of Missouri paid no heed to the message either. At Joseph’s request, John was ordained an apostle by Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball on December 19, 1838, while Joseph was still in jail. Of his calling, John said, “I felt my own weakness and littleness; but I felt determined, the Lord being my helper, to endeavor to magnify it.” Mobs continued to persecute the Saints so Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball led 11,000 Mormons back across the Mississippi River to Illinois and safety.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

At Season's End, a Five Star Read

At Season's End
There was Paw in the lead goin’ as hard as he could, then Maw, Tim next, and me tryin’ to catch up knowin’ they must all be crazy. Even the river didn’t stop Paw. Clothes and all, he jumped into the whirlin’, swirlin’ waters of the great Columbia.

At this Maw let out a scream. Mebby she thought Paw was goin’ to end it all. Then Tim yelled, “Oh, no, Paw!” But I was too surprised and scared to say anythin’.

I suppose it was just a second or two, but it seemed like minutes before he came up again to show us he had two heads and four arms. Then the mighty water turned him over to prove he had four legs. That was when we realized Paw was holdin’ on for dear life to a young drownin’ boy.

Hit hard by the Great Depression, Sal’s family loads up an old Buick and heads out to find work wherever they can. Driving from place to place, living off the little they can make, they soon realize they’ll never be able to afford to settle down again.

Then, when tragedy strikes, Sal and her brother must learn to fend for themselves. In a world of harsh realities, there’s no room left for romance. But that can’t stop Sal from dreaming of a life with Ben—a boy from another migrant family—even though she knows she may never see him again.

This heartwarming story about growing up in a troubled time is sure to resonate with modern readers of all ages.

Eric Hendershot, a writer/director has produced several family friendly films and documentaries. Season of Hope is one of the most heart-warming stories I’ve read in a long time. Hendershot’s writing style is smooth and engaging. His character development is superb as this family goes from hilarity to tragedy as the pages slip by. The book is engaging and a fun easy read.

Paw and Maw become migrant workers during the great depression. They, along with their children Tim and Sal, create an old-fashioned family filled with kindness and morality.

Trouble devastates this family, and Tim and Sal learn to live by their wits. Will Sal ever see Ben, the boy she truly loves again? Odds are against it.

I highly recommend this read.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tar and Feathers

John and his family, along with many of the Canadian members, decided to gather with the body of the Saints in Kirtland. When they arrived, they found many members apostatizing from the church. The faithful Saints were moving to Missouri, so John and the group he traveled with continued toward Missouri from Kirtland.

During their journey, they stopped in a little town near Columbus, Ohio. On the Sabbath the company asked John to preach. With no building available he found a place to teach the people outside in the open air. Everyone eagerly awaited his message. Just before the meeting began, some of the brethren informed John that a mob would tar and feather him if he preached. It wasn’t just a rumor; they had seen the tar and feathers. John said he would speak anyway. The others feared for John because they didn’t have the strength to protect him.

At the designated hour, the Saints gathered along with townspeople and members of the mob. John stood up to speak. He began, “Gentlemen, I now stand among men whose fathers fought for . . . the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. . . They nobly fought and nobly conquered; . . . and the flag of freedom waves from Wisconsin to Louisiana – from Maine to Missouri. . . . Gentlemen, with you liberty is more than a name. . . By the by, I have been informed that you purpose to tar and feather me, for my religious opinions. . . . Is this the blessing they [your forefathers] purchased with their dearest hearts’ blood . . . ? If so, you now have a victim.”

John ripped his vest open and said, “Gentlemen come on with your tar and feathers, your victim is ready.” Everyone was quiet. Not a sound could be heard. After a few moments of silence, John began to preach, giving a message about the restoration of the Church. When he finished speaking, the people of the town complimented him on his address, and he and the other Saints continued their journey. Those who would have tarred and feathered him slunk into the background.