“To Seal the Testimony . . .”

Doctrine and Covenants 135:1

1 To seal the testimony of this book [Doctrine and Covenants] and the Book of Mormon, we announce the martyrdom of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and Hyrum Smith the Patriarch. They were shot in Carthage jail, on the 27th of June, 1844, about five o’clock p.m., by an armed mob—painted black—of from 150 to 200 persons. Hyrum was shot first and fell calmly, exclaiming: I am a dead man! Joseph leaped from the window, and was shot dead in the attempt, exclaiming: O Lord my God! They were both shot after they were dead, in a brutal manner, and both received four balls.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

“. . . [T]here is the testimony of a prophet, whose name was Joseph, who sealed with his blood the testimony of his Lord. . . . On the sultry afternoon of 27 June 1844, he and his brother Hyrum were killed by an armed mob, the members of which had painted their faces black to hide their identity. . . . Joseph and Hyrum were murdered. . . . The shadow of the events of June 1844 has now lengthened over a century and a half. That shadow has reached across a substantial part of the world. The history is clear, and it is wonderful to survey. It is a poignant and tremendous story, an epic without parallel. . . . The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now owns the scene of the martyrdom, the Carthage Jail with the block on which it stands. It has been made beautiful and attractive for the tens of thousands who visit from many nations. Nauvoo is a place of goodwill, a remnant of a remarkable history. . . . Joseph Smith lived as an instrument in the hands of the Lord for the establishment of His restored work in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times. He died in testimony of the Savior of mankind. The Church which was established through him carries the name of the Redeemer of the world. . . . We . . . confirm the truth of the testimony of the great seer and revelator of this dispensation, the Prophet Joseph Smith, who . . . gave his life as a witness of the Risen Redeemer.”

(“The Greatest Miracle in Human History,” Ensign, May 1994, 72–75.)