The last of the
mourners passed through the Mansion House at 5:00 p.m. on
June 29, 1844. The coffins of Joseph and Hyrum were nailed
closed and taken by hearse to the graveyard, though to elude
malicious tampering, the bodies of the two Church leaders
had been taken secretly to another location.
William W. Phelps,
close associate of the Prophet Joseph, gave a stirring
funeral sermon for the martyred Church leaders. "They can
rest from their labors, and their works shall follow them,"
he declared. "Mourn not; these sons of God are safe; dry up
your tears; confess the hand of the Lord in all things, and
comfort each other with the sweet hope that their lives were
precious in the sight of all heaven."1
Phelps paid final
tribute to the prophet of the Restoration, writing the hymn
"Praise to the Man": "Hail to the Prophet, ascended to
heaven! Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain. Mingling
with Gods, he can plan for his brethren; Death cannot
conquer the hero again."2
1. in Richard
Van Wagoner and Steven C. Walker, "The Joseph/Hyrum
Smith Funeral Sermon," Brigham Young University
Studies 23, no. 1 (1983): 3–18.
Hymns, no. 27.
William W. Phelps
An early member and leader in the Church after it was restored in 1830. The Lord called William Phelps to be a printer for the Church (The Guide to the Scriptures, "Phelps, William W.," 192).
Praise to the Man
Learn how Joseph Smith was able to overcome trials and persecution.
Learn more about Joseph Smith as a leader to the Saints.
Learn more about Joseph Smith's homes in Nauvoo.