From the Life of President John Taylor

With the Prophet Joseph in Carthage Jail

Ensign, December 2001, 32–33; February 1980, 54; Friend, February 1980, 45

John Taylor stayed with the Prophet Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum Smith, and Elder Willard Richards at Carthage Jail. John sang to help comfort the prisoners.

John: “A poor wayfaring Man of grief Hath often crossed me on my way …” *

After John had sung it once, the Prophet Joseph asked him to sing it again.

Joseph: Sing that song again, will you, John?

John: I do not feel like singing.

Hyrum: Yes, please sing that song again.

Joseph: You’ll feel better once you begin, and so will I.

John: “A poor wayfaring Man of grief Hath often crossed me on my way …”

Then a mob of men with painted faces and guns stormed up the stairs to the room where the Prophet and the other prisoners were staying.

Mobster: The Mormon Prophet is up here!!

Elder Richards tried to keep the mob out of the room with a hickory cane, but could not. The mob killed Hyrum. Then Joseph ran to the window and was shot by more members of the mob from below.

Elder Taylor was shot five times. One of the bullets was stopped by the watch in his vest pocket. That saved his life.

Later, he wrote this about Joseph Smith.

John: “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.” **

  1.   *

    See Hymns, no. 29

  2.   **

    D&C 135:3