While "it is the nature
and disposition of almost all men . . . to exercise
unrighteous dominion," Joseph Smith chose instead to lead
"by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and
meekness, and by love unfeigned."1 "I love your soul," he said to
a friend in 1833, "and the souls of the children of men, and
pray and do all I can for the salvation of all."2 Years later, Joseph
reaffirmed, "My heart is large enough for all men."3
"The nearer we get to
our heavenly Father," Joseph told the Relief Society
sisters, "the more we are disposed to look with compassion
on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon
our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our
Joseph Smith's love for
the people grew out of his service to them. "It is a
time-honored adage," he taught, "that love begets love. Let
us pour forth love—show forth our kindness unto all mankind,
and the Lord will reward us with everlasting
1. D&C 121:39, 41.
History of the Church, 1:339.
History of the Church, 6:459.
History of the Church, 5:24.
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel.
Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 316.
Learn how Joseph did the will of the Lord with "untiring zeal."
Learn more about Carthage Jail.
Read an article about how Joseph describes himself.