Sunday, July 14, 2024
HomeChurchPresident Ballard Honors the Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum 179 Years Later

President Ballard Honors the Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum 179 Years Later

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179 years ago today, Joseph and Hyrum Smith laid down their lives and sealed their testimonies with their precious blood. 

M. Russell Ballard has a personal and deep love for the brothers as he is the great-great grandson of Hyrum. 

In a Facebook post today, President Ballard shared a link to his talk given at the New Mission President Seminar. His talk was focused on Joseph and Hyrum and their service as exemplary missionary companions. He describes the brothers as “men of integrity, loyalty, courage, trust, faith, and unwavering testimony.” They are examples to all of us as together they endured the unthinkable. 

The brothers were rooted together in their love of God and their love for one another. They respected each other’s callings, depended on each other’s support and ultimately stood by one another until the very end. 

President Hunter is quoted saying, “We praise Joseph for enduring bitter and repeated betrayals and disappointments. … He did not go to Carthage bitterly. He did not go to Carthage complainingly. What a marvelous capacity to endure well! Joseph knew which way he faced. It was toward the Savior Jesus Christ.”

The same could be said about Hyrum as he so bravely said “Let us go back, and put our trust in God, and we shall not be harmed; the Lord is in it; if we live or have to die we will be reconciled to our fate” when the Smith brothers were called back to Nauvoo just days before the martyrdom. 

In a previous talk by President Ballard he recalls that “A week before the fateful trip to Carthage, where they were murdered in cold blood by an armed mob of cowards who had painted their faces to avoid detection, Joseph recorded that ‘I advised my brother Hyrum to take his family on the next steamboat and go to Cincinnati.’

I still feel great emotion as I remember Hyrum’s reply: ‘Joseph, I can’t leave you. 

So Joseph and Hyrum went to Carthage, where they became martyrs for Christ’s cause and name.”


As John Taylor so fittingly observed: “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, … left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!”

You can read President Ballard’s full address here.

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Kaitlyn Hall
Kaitlyn Hall
Kaitlyn is a student at Utah Valley University, where she is studying Public Relations. She served her mission in San Diego California and Chile. Kaitlyn loves sports, country music, being in the mountains and eating chocolate chip cookies.

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