Wilford Woodruff: The Way Home. Part 3–Coming to Grips

July 18th 1844 Elders O. Hyde H. C. Kimball and O. Pratt arived in the City also President B. Young. We met together. Had some Council. I wrote a letter to the Prophet, advising the Elders who have families in Nauvoo to go immediately to them & for all the authorities of the Church to assemble at Nauvoo for a council, by order of the quorum of the Twelve Wilford Woodruff Clerk B. Young President After which Elder O. Hyde and myself accompanied Sister Voice to take tea with a sister who was attending to a house near the state house fronting the Common.

We walked all over the house & took a view of the furniture. It could not have Cost much less than one hundred thousand dollars to have furnished it.

After tea we walked to meeting in a hall in Washington st opposite Boydston hall. Elder Hyde had advertised to Preach upon the murder of Joseph and Hyram Smith and take up a collection at the close to pay his expenses home. The following is a brief synopsis of the same:

The speaker read the 24 Ch. Matthew 9 to 14 verses as the foundation of some remarks. Said he would much rather leave the strife of men, and spend his time in speaking of the gospel of Jesus Christ But it is my design to night to speak upon the death of the Prophet & Patriarch. Some might think because of the death of the men it would put a stop to the work but not so. When God has sent a man men at any time they were opposed by the world. For any generation, that has a prophet of God in their midst they see his weakness as touching human nature & the people are watching for iniquity & they spend all their time talking about any thing they see him do that does not accord with their traditions & tell a great many falshoods about him but entirely forget and overlook all the good he does.

It was so with our Savior. Men looked upon him as an impostor and Beelzebub the Prince of devils, and when he was crucifyed they were not satisfyed with his dying merely but went and thrust a spear into his side and their came out Blood and water. But how is it now with the Savior? All profess to believe on him. They dont talk about what his persecutors said were his bad deeds but his good ones.

When a man dies his bad deeds die with him and his virtues live and grow brighter. The gentiles say if I had lived in the days of the Savior I would not have killed him but would have rejoiced. But imagin yourselfs living in the days of an inspired man. How would you look upon him? As the worst of men the same as they did.

A man told me he dreamed that some man spoke to him and said Lama, Lama, and he looked and it was Joseph Smith retreating from him and saying those words, the interpetation of which is my God my God & when Joseph Smith was shot he repeated those words. So with the Savior when he was crucified. He said Lama, Lama, Sabacthana.

As the Jews were not satisfied with killing Jesus Christ, but must thrust a spear into his side so with the gentiles. They were not satisfied with shooting the Prophet but stabed him with a dagger in the breast. As soon as they killed them they all fled and in an hour their was not a man left in the place. But the wicked flea when no man persues.

But why did the people murder this Prophet? What were they afraid of? O if he lives he will take away our power of goverment get the rule in his own hands and we will be distroyed. But they were mistaken. If they had let him alone or had recieved him he would have saved the nation from ruin and destruction. But now the nation has got to answer for his blood and the blood of his brother both of which were the Lords anointed. Besides the nation will now be deprived of the benefit of that wisdom and intelligence which the Prophet seer & revelator would have brought to light that would have been used for the benefit of the nations.

But now their die is cast and doom is sealed, & their judgment will come in an hour they are not aware of. It was so with the Jews. They said if we let Jesus alone he will come and take away our state and Nation so they crusifyed him shed his blood and said let it be upon us and our Children. And the judgments came upon them. Their city was laid in the dust, & the inhabitants fell by the sword & famine and the remnant was scattered throughout the gentile world, while if they had recieved Jesus Christ he would oft had gatherd together the people & saved the City.

When the nations of the earth send their messengers or ministers to any people & they are not recieved but treated lightly and killed will not that nation take vengance on their enemies? Is God then of less consequence than man? When he sends his Prophets, messengers & servants to the world with a message & the people Cast them out stone shoot and kill them will not God take vengance on that nation? Yea he ever did and ever will, and this nation will not escape.

John said in pouring out the plagues upon the earth 16 ch. 3 v. that he poured out his vial upon the sea and it became as the blood of a dead man and evry living soul died in the sea. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountain of waters and they became blood. And the Angels Said the Lord was righteous in so doing for they have shed the blood of Saints and Prophets and thou hast given them blood to drink for they are worthy. 6 v.

Some say it was in the days of Jesus Christ, But it was not in the days of Jesus Christ for John lived after and saw things in the last days. It seems that the waters was turned to blood because they had shed the Blood of Prophets and Saints. Their was to be two Prophets in Jerrusalem slain, for they tormented them. Prophets are always a torment to the People for they tell them the truth, reprove their transgressions speak of the Judgments that are to come. When those prophets were to be slain the people all would rejoice & send Presents to one another because the prophets who had tormented them were slain. But in three days they stood upon their feet & the Joy of their enemies was of short duration.

It is so now. Their is a secret Joy in the hearts of the Priest and many people that the Prophet and Patriarch is murdered and some manifest their joy openly. It is always a dark time Just before day. It is a dark time now but it will soon be light.

When Christ was crucifyed it was a dark time. They were ready to go to their farm fishing and merchandize and Peter sent to inquire if he was the one or if we should look for another. The answer was go and tell them what you see and hear. Feel my body I have arisen. And Joy immediatly arose in their bosom. As soon as the Jews found he had arisin they bribed the guard to say that while they were asleep his deciples stole him away, which saying is believed among the Jews untill the present day. And they are taken in their own snare for it has been that vary key that has Chained them untill the present time, & so it is with this nation. They have sealed their damnation by shedding the blood of the vary man that holds the keys of this last dispensation and consequently their destiny.

A word about Br Joseph being killed. Some have thought he could not be killed. But the Lord never said so neither did Joseph say so. So did Peter say to Jesus when he told him that he would be slain or offered, far be it from thee. This shall not come upon thee. Jesus said get the behind me Satan. Thou savoreth not the things that be of God but of men.

In the first instance The Prophet crossed the river to Iowa & while there he inquired of the Lord what he should do and the Lord told him to return and give himself up. He appeared to be aware that he would be slain. The covenants convey this same idea concerning Joseph. See Page 159 4 par. Behold I grant unto you eternal life if you should be slain. Page 126, 1 & 2 Par.

It is supposed by some that the Govornor had a hand in this affair. At first they were not ready to recieve him for the plan was not finished how to dispose of him. The Govornor had taken away all of the state arms, & was in Nauvoo requesting them to give up their private arms at the same time that they were murdering our brethren at Carthage Jeal. As soon as the word Came the govornor fled. The women and Children removed so as to stir up the world to come and destroy the place but this failed.

In consequence of the death of the prophets the Editors seem to get the spirit of prophecy and say the work is done & will stop, and die. But as I am in the midst of the Prophetic Editors like Saul I ketch some of the spirit of Prophecy, & so I will prophecy that instead of the work dying it will be like the mustard stock that was ripe that a man undertook to throw out of his garding and scattered seed all over it and next year it was nothing but mustard. It will be so by shedding the blood of the prophets. It will make 10 saints whare their is one now.

Some said that he would be President, but is now dead. Now what will he do? The Revelator Says He that overcometh will I give Power over the Nations and he shall rule them with a rod of Iron. I dont know but he may hold the keys of the Plagues that are to be poured out in the last days upon this and other nations. Angels appeared anciently to John who were his fellow servants. The prophet Joseph may appear in this day to his brethren.

This gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the world for a testimony. Then shall the end come. Though they should be persecuted if they endured to the end they should be saved. This generation speak much about the clouds and weather. They disern the face of the sky but why can they not disern the signs of the times? The fig trees are leaving and all things indicate the second advent of Christ.

Elder B Young arose and Said he felt disposed to add his testimony. Be of good cheer. The testi-ment is not in force while the Testator liveth. When he died it was in force. So it is with Joseph. On the day of Pentecost their was but 120 of the Saints, but at that time their were added 3,000 souls. When God sends a man to do a work all the devils in hell cannot kill him untill he gets through his work. So with Joseph. He prepared all things gave the keys to men on the earth and said I may be soon taken from you.

I recieved an extra Nauvoo Neighbor during the evening which gave an account of the death of the Prophet & Patriarch. At the close of the meeting I went home and spent the night with a brother.

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