Gospel Art Picture Kit
President of the Church, 1880–1887
John Taylor enjoyed close association with Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. In the early years of the Restoration he became known as “Champion of Liberty and Defender of the Faith” because of his vocal and written support of the Church and its leaders during times of trouble.
He was shot several times at the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. After a bullet struck him, he started falling out the window of his jail cell. Another bullet, though, struck his watch, and the blow forced him back in the room. Of this event he wrote, “I felt that the Lord had preserved me by a special act of mercy; that my time had not yet come, and that I had still a work to perform upon the earth.” (See History of the Church, 7:119–20.)
He testified at the funeral of President Brigham Young: “We are not alone! God is with us, and He will continue with us from this time henceforth and forever” (quoted in B. H. Roberts, The Life of John Taylor , 325).
He taught that God watches over all the nations and peoples of the earth: “We say we are the children of God. That is true, we are. We are sparks struck from the blaze of His eternal fire. But what of the rest of the world—whose children are they? They are also the children of our Heavenly Father, and He is interested in their welfare as He is in ours” (quoted in Roberts, The Life of John Taylor, 421).
John Taylor, third President of the Church, was with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum when they were shot and killed at Carthage Jail. Though he was shot several times, he said, “I felt that the Lord had preserved me by a special act of mercy.” He taught that God watches over all the nations of the earth and loves His children everywhere.
Artist, A. Westwood
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