Source:Holland:Hyrum Smith turned to the Book of Mormon for comfort

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Holland: "quoting from and finding solace in a book which, if not the very word of God, would brand them as imposters and charlatans until the end of time?"

Hyrum was later murdered in Carthage jail for his testimony. The night before, he turned to the Book of Mormon for comfort. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland noted how implausible such conduct is if Hyrum knew or believed the Book of Mormon to be a hoax:

May I refer to a modern “last days” testimony? When Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum started for Carthage to face what they knew would be an imminent martyrdom, Hyrum read these words to comfort the heart of his brother:

“Thou hast been faithful; wherefore … thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.

“And now I, Moroni, bid farewell … until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ.”[1]

A few short verses from the 12th chapter of Ether in the Book of Mormon....Later, when actually incarcerated in the jail, Joseph the Prophet turned to the guards who held him captive and bore a powerful testimony of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon.[2] Shortly thereafter pistol and ball would take the lives of these two testators.

As one of a thousand elements of my own testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon, I submit this as yet one more evidence of its truthfulness. In this their greatest—and last—hour of need, I ask you: would these men blaspheme before God by continuing to fix their lives, their honor, and their own search for eternal salvation on a book (and by implication a church and a ministry) they had fictitiously created out of whole cloth?

Never mind that their wives are about to be widows and their children fatherless. Never mind that their little band of followers will yet be “houseless, friendless and homeless” and that their children will leave footprints of blood across frozen rivers and an untamed prairie floor. Never mind that legions will die and other legions live declaring in the four quarters of this earth that they know the Book of Mormon and the Church which espouses it to be true. Disregard all of that, and tell me whether in this hour of death these two men would enter the presence of their Eternal Judge quoting from and finding solace in a book which, if not the very word of God, would brand them as imposters and charlatans until the end of time? They would not do that! They were willing to die rather than deny the divine origin and the eternal truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.[3]

Notes

  1. Ether 12:37–38; see also D&C 135:5.
  2. History of the Church, 6:600. Volume 6 link
  3. Jeffrey R. Holland, "Safety for the Soul," Ensign (November 2009).