Page:Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow monochrome.djvu/183

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State of Illinois willing to co-operate with them in stirring up jealousy and raising excitement among the people, in order more effectually to execute their murderous designs. Believing that the continuance and prosperity of the Saints were dependent on the existence of their Prophet, Joseph Smith, they set about concocting schemes for his destruction. By resorting to false accusations and perjury, they procured a State warrant for his apprehension, and also that of his brother Hyrum. Aware that their diabolical schemes would be frustrated if the prisoners had a legal trial, they succeeded in lodging them in Carthage jail; a place where the Governor of the State pledged himself they should be protected, and secure from mobs and violence; but in every respect it was only suitable for the accomplishment of their bloody deeds. On the 27th of June, 1844, while Joseph and Hyrum were in this situation, awaiting their trial on the following day, their enemies determined to execute their designs. About 5 o'clock p.m., of that day, an armed mob, painted black, of from one hundred and fifty to two hundred persons, rushed from the surrounding woods, drove away the sentinels guarding the prison, and poured through the door and windows a torrent of lead that laid the brothers low in the arms of death! Then fell two worthy men! Everlasting honor and immortality is their portion, and their names henceforth are classified with martyrs for truth! When this sad event occurred, two of the Twelve Apostles, John Taylor and Willard Richards, were with them in prison, as visitors. The former received four balls in his body, the other escaped unharmed. These men live to tell the bloody tragedy which has sealed disgrace upon their country.

A few months previous to this murder, Joseph, in giving instructions to the Twelve in relation to the building up of Zion, preparatory to the coming of the Son of God, informed them that his work was finished on the earth, and from that time the responsibility of carrying the Gospel to every nation