[Joseph Smith Journal] This day President Joseph [Smith] has renewed the subject of conversation, in relation to his faithful brethren, and friends in his own words, which I now proceed to record as follows:
While I contemplate the virtues and the good qualifications and characteristics of the faithful few, which I am now recording in the Book of the Law of the Lord, of such as have stood by me in every hour of peril, for these fifteen long years past, say, for instance, my aged and beloved brother Joseph Knight, Sen[io]r., who was among the number of the first to administer to my necessities, while I was laboring, in the commencement of the bringing forth of the work of the Lord, and of laying the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For fifteen years has he been faithful and true, and even handed, and exemplary and virtuous, and kind, never deviating to the right hand or to the left. Behold he is a righteous man. May God Almighty lengthen out the old man's days, and may his trembling, tortured and broken body be renewed, and in the vigor of health turn upon him, if it can be thy will, consistently, O God. And it shall be said of him, by the sons of Z
ion, while there is one of them remaining, that this man, was a faithful man in Israel. Therefore his name shall never be forgotten. There are his son[s] Newel Knight and Joseph Knight whose names I record in the Book of the Law of the Lord, with unspeakable delight, for they are my friends.
There is a numerous host of faithful souls, whose names I could wish to record in the Book of the Law of the Lord, but time and chance would fail. I will mention therefore only a few of them as emblematical of those who are to[o] numerous to be written.
But there is one man I would mention namely [Orrin] Porter Rockwell, who is now a fellow-wanderer with myself, an exile from his home because of the murderous deeds and infernal disposition of the indefatigable and unrelenting hand of the Missourians. He is an innocent and a noble boy. May God Almighty deliver him from the hands of his pursuers. He was an innocent and a noble child, and my soul loves him. Let this be recorded for ever and ever. Let the blessings of salvation and honor be his portion.
But as I said before, so say I again while I remember the faithful few who are now living, I would remember also the faithful of my friends who are now dead, for they are many. And many are the acts of kindness, and paternal and brotherly kindnesses which they have bestowed upon me. And since I have been hunted by the Missourians many are the scenes which have been called to my mind. Many thoughts have rolled through my head, and across my breast.
I have remembered the scenes of my childhood. I have thought of my father who is dead, who died by disease which was brought upon him through suffering by the hand of ruthless mobs. He was a great and a good man. The envy of knaves and fools was heaped upon him, and this was his lot and portion all the days of his life. He was of noble stature, and possessed a high, and holy, and exalted, and a virtuous mind. His soul soared above all those mean and groveling principles that are so subsequent to the human heart. I now say, that he never did a mean act that might be said was ungenerous, in his life, to my knowledge. I love my father and his memory, and the memory of his noble deeds, rest with ponderous weight upon my mind; and many of his kind and parental words to me, are written on the tablet of my heart. Sacred to me, are the thoughts which I cherish of the history of his life, that have rolled through my mind and have been implanted there, by my own observation since I
was born. Sacred to me is his dust, and the spot where he is laid. Let the memory of my father eternally live. Let the faults and the follies Let his soul, or the spirit my follies forgive. With him may I reign one day, in the mansions above, and tune up the Lyre of anthems, of the eternal Jove. May the God that I love look down from above, and save me from my enemies here, and take me by the hand, that on Mount Zion I may stand and with my father crown me eternally there. Words and language, is inadequate to express the gratitude that I owe to God for having given me so honorable a parentage.
My mother also is one of the noblest, and the best of all women. May God grant to prolong her days, and mine, that we may live to enjoy each other's society long yet in the enjoyment of liberty, and to breathe the free air.
Alvin my oldest brother, I remember well the pangs of sorrow that swelled my youthful bosom and almost burst my tender heart, when he died. He was the oldest, and the noblest of my father's family. He was one of the noblest sons of men. Shall his name not be recorded in this book? Yes, Alvin. Let it be had here, and be handed down upon these sacred pages, forever and ever. In him there was no guile. He lived without spot from the time he was a child. From the time of his birth, he never knew mirth. He was candid and sober and never would play, and minded his father, and mother, in toiling all day. He was one of the soberest of men and when he died the angel of the Lord visisted him in his last moments. These childish lines I record in remembrance of my childhood scenes.
My Brother Don Carlos Smith, whose name I desire to record also, was a noble boy. I never knew any fault in him. I never saw the first immoral act, or the first irreligious, or ignoble disposition in the child. From the time that he was born, till the time of his death, he was a lovely, a goodnatured, and a kind-hearted, and a virtuous and a faithful upright child. And where his soul goes let mine go also. He lays by the side of my father. Let my father, Don Carlos, and Alvin, and children that I have buried be brought and laid in the tomb I have built. Let my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters be laid there also, and let it be called the Tomb of Joseph, a descendant of Jacob. And when I die, let me be gathered into the tomb of my father. There are many souls, whom I have loved stronger than death. To them I have proved faithful. To them I am determined to prove faithful, untill God calls me to resign up my breath.
O, thou who seeeth, and knoweth the hearts of all men, thou eternal omnipotent, omnicient, and omnipresent Jehovah, God, thou Eloheem, that sitteth, as saith the psalmist, enthroned in heaven, look down upon thy servant Joseph, at this time, and let faith on the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, to a greater degree than thy servant ever yet has enjoyed, be conferred upon him, even the faith of Elijah. And let the Lamp of eternal life, be lit up in his heart, never to be taken away, and the words of eternal life, be poured upon the soul of thy servant, that he may know thy will, thy statutes, and thy commandments, and thy judgments to do them. As the dews upon Mount Hermon, may the distillations of thy divine grace, glory and honor in the plenitude of thy mercy, and power and goodness be poured down upon the head of thy servant.
O Lord God, my heavenly Father, shall it be in vain, that thy servant must needs be exiled from the' midst of his friends, or be dragged from their bosoms, to clank in cold and iron chains, to be thrust within dreary prison walls, to spend days of sorrow, and of grief and misery there, by the hand of an infuriated, insensed and infatuated foe, to glut their infernal and insatiable desire upon innocent blood, and for no other cause on the part of thy servant, than for the defence of innocence, and thou a just God will not hear his cry?
Oh, no, thou wilt hear me, a child of woe, pertaining to this mortal life, because of sufferings here, but not for condemnation that shall come upon him in eternity. For thou knowest O God, the integrity of his heart. Thou hearest me, and I knew that thou wouldst hear me, and mine enemies shall not prevail. They all shall melt like wax before thy face, and as the mighty floods, and waters roar, or as the billowing earthquake's, devouring gulf, or rolling thunder's loudest peal, or vivid, forked lightnings flash, or sound of the Arch-Angels trump, or voice of the Eternal God, shall the souls of my enemies be made to feel in an instant, suddenly, and shall be taken, and ensnared, and fall backwards, and stumble in the ditch they have dug for my feet, and the feet of my friends, and perish in their own infamy and shame, be thrust down to an eternal hell, for their murderous and hellish deeds.
After writing so much President Joseph left off speaking for the present but will continue the subject again.4
W[illia]m Clayton, Clerk. (1)
-- Aug 24, 1842
Nauvoo, Illinois. Thomas Carlin, governor of Illinois, sent a letter to the Prophet's wife, Emma Smith, assuring her that all of his actions concerning Joseph Smith had been prompted by a strict sense of duty. (2)
1 - Scott H. Faulring, An American Prophet's Record: Journal, ca. 1841-43 'The Book of the Law of the Lord'
2 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith
LDS History Timeline
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