From the Life of the Prophet Joseph Smith
Adapted from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society course of study, 2007), 339–41.
Illustrations by Sal Velluto and Eugenio Mattozzi
One day when the Prophet was visiting his parents’ home in Far West, a group of militiamen burst through the door.
Which one of you is Joe Smith?
We’re here to kill him!
Joseph immediately stepped forward, smiled at the men, and shook their hands.
I’m Joseph. Nice to meet you. Please, come and sit down.
The men stared in disbelief at the Prophet as he continued to speak.
We Mormons believe in Jesus Christ and just want peace. But we have had a lot of persecution these past months since we’ve moved to Missouri. As far as I know, none of us have ever broken the law. But if we have, we’re ready to be tried by the law.
Mother, I believe I will go home. Emma will be expecting me.
You shall not go alone, for it is not safe.
We will go with you and guard you.
We promise to disband the militia under us and go home.
If you need us at all, we’ll come back and do whatever you need.
Outside Joseph’s parents’ home, the rest of the men talked about their encounter with the Prophet.
Did you not feel strangely when he took you by the hand? I never felt so in my life.
I felt as though I could not move. I would not harm one hair of that man’s head for the whole world.
This is the last time you will ever catch me coming to kill Joe Smith or the Mormons either.