The Work of the Prophet Joseph Smith

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    Adapted from Doctrine and Covenants Stories (PBIC037A)(See D&C 77; History of the Church, 1:260–265.)

    Joseph and Emma’s twins die

    1 Joseph and Emma Smith’s twins died when they were only three hours old. John Murdock and his wife also had twins, and when they were nine days old, Sister Murdock died. Joseph and Emma were pleased to raise the motherless babies as their own.

    Joseph translating the Bible

    2 About this time Joseph was translating the Bible. He was puzzled by some of the things that he read. The Lord wants men to know the truth, so He directed Joseph in making the correct interpretation of the scriptures.

    Satan wanted Joseph to fail

    3 The Lord was pleased with the important work that Joseph was doing, but Satan wanted Joseph to fail in his effort to share the truth.

    Mob attacks Joseph

    4 One cold night an angry mob of men forced its way inside Joseph Smith’s house, where Joseph was tending one of the twins, who was sick. They overpowered Joseph and dragged him outside, leaving the wailing baby in a draft. The baby died a few days later.

    They wanted to kill Joseph

    5 Some of the mobbers wanted to kill Joseph. They tore off his clothes, scratched and tarred him, broke a bottle of poisonous liquid on his teeth in an effort to make him swallow its contents, then left him for dead.

    Joseph preached the next day

    6 Joseph managed to get to a friend’s house, where the tar was washed from his body and his wounds were attended to. The next day was Sunday, and several of the mobbers were in the congregation. They were amazed that Joseph was able to preach a sermon after his terrible ordeal the night before.