Joseph sat with a heavy heart, confused as to why he had been led to Nauvoo. His thoughts were soon interrupted by some passing townspeople talking about a meeting that everyone was invited to. A man named Brigham Young was to be the speaker.
Joseph stood up and asked a young woman about this meeting. She explained that the leader of the Church, Brigham Young, wanted to speak to everyone in town at the town hall. She pointed down the street to a large building.
The town hall was muggy from the afternoon heat and the large number of people packed into it. Joseph found a place near the back and sat down. A man stood at the pulpit and began to speak. Joseph knew this must be Brigham Young, for his burning heart told him that he was listening to a man of God.
Brigham Young began by thanking the people for coming. He then told them that he knew of their hardships and lack of money. But he said they must pay their tithing regularly so the temple could be finished, and that the temple should be their most important priority. He also told them that more food for the workers and more money for the building materials were desperately needed.
Joseph still had most of the $2,600 in the cans he had strapped around his waist—he had only spent a small amount to get to Nauvoo. As Brigham Young spoke of the need for money, the cans seemed to get heavier and heavier. But as the prophet spoke of the importance of the temple, Joseph’s heart became lighter and lighter. He knew why he had been guided to Nauvoo.
After the meeting, Joseph went straight to Brigham Young’s office and introduced himself. He told President Young about the missionaries, about the storm that almost drowned him, and about God leading him to Nauvoo.
Brigham Young then watched as Joseph unstrapped the belt from around his waist and rolled the gold-filled cans across the table. “I want to give myself and all I have to the kingdom of God,” Joseph said.
When Brigham Young opened the cans and saw what was inside, he was touched by Joseph’s sacrifice. The money would be enough to finish the temple. Brigham laid his hands on Joseph’s head and gave him a blessing. In the blessing he promised that Joseph and all his posterity would always have the things they needed if they remained faithful.
The temple was completed, and Joseph Toronto became part of Brigham Young’s family, later traveling with them to the Salt Lake Valley.
“When needed and earned, you can enjoy divine inspiration to know what to do and, when necessary, power or capacity to accomplish it.” 5
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Illustrations by Dan Burr