Tuesday, March 23, 2010


On Friday morning we took the drive to Carthage, IL.

This is where Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the Restoration, along with his brother Hyrum, was killed.

The tour starts with a 20 minute video on the life of Joseph Smith, following that is a tour of the jail.

During the tour we learned about the charges against Joseph, which were treason, given specifically so no bail could be set, except by a circuit judge that lived far away.

Also, this jail was for prisoners awaiting trial. They lived with the family in the same home, including eating with the family. Prisoners had to pay for their keep and food. Friends could come stay with you in jail to keep you company. Which is why some of the 12 apostles were with Joseph and Hyrum at the time.

The tour guide was of the opinion that the jailor was kind to Joseph, because he let him stay in the debtor's cell on the first floor because of the heat of the summer. When he heard there were people out to kill Joseph, He then had Joseph sleep in his room (the jailor's) room on the top floor, rather than the dungeon which had little circulation.

Here's some pictures of the dungeon cell.

And some of the room where Joseph and his friends were staying when he was murdered. The tour goes through the events of the night before, and then a tape recording is played with the sequence of events as the mob decides on the jail and fires into the room.

I've always pondered and thought about what it must have been like to be Joseph. To be taught by the Lord and have him so close to you, to know angels and receive visions and revelations, and to be scorned and persecuted because of it. I can only imagine what it would feel like to be in jail on false charges, to be subject to the laws of the land, yet know you are going to be justified at the judgement bar of God.
I don't really know what it would have been like to be Joseph Smith. But I do know that he was a prophet of God, that he spoke God's message on the earth, and his teachings and prophecies, revealed from God, have brought me peace and comfort. While I worship God and Jesus Christ, I revere Joseph for the difficult task he accomplished in restoring Christ's church.

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