Their deaths were brought about by those who at one time had been their friends. Today, many who claim to believe their teachings also accuse them of gross wickedness. When the angel told Joseph his name would be had for good and evil, it foreshadowed something so bizarre and ironic that it's almost unimaginable.
Our Lord said: “A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” (Mark 3:6, NC)
Those who claim to be the country, kin, and house of Joseph lavishly expect to fulfill prophecy. They have, unfortunately, fulfilled this one. An ignominious distinction, to say the least.
A week ago, there was a conference held in honor of the 200th anniversary of the First Vision and the beginning of the restoration. All the branches of the restoration were invited to participate. It was a wonderful, uplifting, positive event, and I’m very grateful to have been there and participated.
Here’s a link to the website where the conference recordings can be viewed:
And here’s a video of the talk I gave at the conference:
When God begins a work among men, he sends those who are ordinary, unremarkable, and un-notable. Those he calls are universally uncomfortable with the responsibilities he gives them. They are crippled by doubts about their own abilities and faith, and left to conclude the only way anything good can come of their efforts is through the might of the one who sent them. This is as it should be, and as it always is. The farm boy from New York, the Carpenter from Galilee, the fisherman from Bethsaida, the Pharisee from Tarsus, the Lamanite on Zarahemla’s wall, the Nephite on his garden tower, the brothers in prison surrounded by fire, and the brothers in prison surrounded by gunfire. All found themselves in situations and with responsibilities they did not seek, and would have gladly relinquished if it were possible. All were hated and threatened and many paid with their lives.
Few ever recognize those who God sends. Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, and few there be that find it. I would add, many there be that reject it, even while sure they are right.
200 years ago, an unremarkable and uneducated farm boy met God face to face as the ancient patriarchs did. Ten years later, he published what may be the most remarkable book in the history of the world. Fourteen years after that, he was murdered by the conspiracy of traitors. Those who knew, and who know Brother Joseph are left to mourn.
One of the most important things we can learn from his life is that God’s pattern yet remains unchanged. He calls upon the weak, makes himself known to them, empowers and sends them with his message, and they are generally rejected and cast out by fools who think they know better.
If it happened again, how would you recognize it?