Anniversary of Joseph Smith’s Death

27 June

Anniversary of the killing of Joseph Smith

On June 27, 1844 a group of men known as the Carthage Greys headed to the holding cell of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, John Taylor and Willard Richards.  When they got there a gun battle would ensue, leaving Joseph and Hyrum Smith dead as well as two others from the Carthage Greys.  Joseph Smith was the reason the two other men were killed.  History of the Church 6:617-621.

Sadly, when I asked my mother about significant dates of remembrance this is one of the days she brought up as well as July 24th which is known as Pioneer Day in Utah.

When I asked her what she knew of Maundy Thursday, Lent, or Good Friday, she told me she’d heard of Good Friday but didn’t know anything about it or the other dates I had mentioned.  And if you think it’s just my mother that doesn’t know these things, you’d be wrong.  It isn’t very often I meet a Mormon who’s aware of the significance of the important dates in Christian history.  When I mentor those getting out of Mormonism I’ve found that more often than not, Holy Week is something they’ve had little to no experience with.

Below is a link to  our article on the “martyrdom” of Joseph Smith.  If you’re a Mormon or have a Mormon friend or loved one I highly suggest reading it to find out why Smith doesn’t qualify to be a martyr.

The Martyrdom of Joseph Smith

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3 Responses to “Anniversary of Joseph Smith’s Death”

  1. shematwater June 28, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    First, why do we need to know the holy days of religions that are not ours?

    So, let me ask you a few questions: What do you know of the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the feast of Tabernacles, and Purim?

    All of these are Jewish Holy Days that were observed by the Jews until the time of Christ. How much does the average Christian know about them? In my experience, very little. Why is this? Because they were instituted to remember events of Jewish history. Most were actually discontinued by the Apostles after Christ’s ascension, and Paul even condemns those who preach the need to observe them.

    So, for the LDS to remember days that are significant to their history, while not bothering a whole lot with those that are not significant (or part of a ritualistic observance not instituted by the Apostles) isn’t anything to complain about.

    As to Joseph Smith being a martyr, he most definitely was. You entire argument seems to hinge on the meaning of the word “willingly” that is used to define a martyr. To you the simple fact that Joseph Smith fought back shows he was unwilling.
    The problem is that you are not actually considering the entire definition of a martyr. No, Joseph Smith was not willing to simply die without a fight, but he was willing to die rather than renounce his faith, and is thus a martyr.
    His actions only matter in the second part of the definition, that of refusing to renounce his faith, which he has fulfilled. He is a martyr, and no attempt by you or anyone else will even change that fact.

  2. discoveringgrace June 29, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    If I were you I wouldn’t be so quick to assume what the author knows and doesn’t know about Jewish Feast’s and the Passover.

    And as far as Smith’s so called martyrdom goes, when was he asked to “renounce” his faith? I find it very interesting that a month prior to his death he shook his fist in the air boasting that he’d done a greater work than Jesus. A month later God struck him down.

  3. shematwater June 29, 2011 at 8:28 pm #


    I made no assumption concerning the author, only about the average Christian. This is nothing more than the assumption the author made concerning the average Mormon’s knowledge of Christian historical dates. So please, do not lecture me on etiquette or manners unless you are prepared to give the same lecture to everyone else.

    As to the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, let us use the definition sited in the article that is supposed to prove he wasn’t a martyr.

    “A person who willingly suffers death rather than renounces his or her religion.”
    No where in this definition does it necessitate that a direct request to renounce faith is required. The simple fact that it was because of his faith that he was persecuted would bring with it an understanding that renouncing it would end the persecution. Thus, he is a martyr, for in the face of great persecution, with full understanding that renouncing his faith would end it, he refused and willingly died rather than utter one word against his God.

    “One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause or principle.”
    Now, based on this definition alone he qualifies. Given this death isn’t even required, only a severe suffering. It is also not required that this suffering be caused for not renouncing his faith, but simply to further the cause. So, looking over his life, considering the many times he was beaten, tarred and feather, imprisoned, and all the other sufferings he endured to further the cause of his faith, he is a martyr.

    As to his boasting, have you ever actually read this discourse? I find it amazing how many people site it who have never read more than the one quote taken from it. I also find it amazing how many people have read it and totally ignore the fact that, while he is boasting, he is also thanking God for having made it possible for him to make the boast.
    Of course, what trikes me even more is the fact that most people overlook the similar boast made by Paul in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 11) which is sited by Joseph Smith as a way of explaining why he said what he said.
    Joseph Smith never once boasted himself as being greater than Christ, or any other man. What he did boast in was that, through the power of God, he had done a work which no one else had, and he was right. This was simply to say “Hey, I am unique, for God has called me to do this work and I have done it, and no one else has.”
    Moses could make a similar boast for leading the Israelites out of Egypt, for through the power of God he did it, and no one else (including Christ) did. Noah could make the same boast in regards to the Ark. There is nothing wrong in doing so, though it is a foolish act (like Paul says).

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