History of the Church
This daily feature is an introduction to a full article by Ronald D. Dennis. Each Wednesday we focus on an aspect of church history. This week, we’re focusing on the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, which took place at the end of June, 1844. To download the PDF and read the full text of this article, follow the link below.
Dan Jones, a Welsh immigrant and convert, accompanied Joseph and Hyrum Smith to Carthage and was with them in the jail during their last night in mortality. On that occasion the Prophet uttered his final prophecy; he declared that Jones would live through the events in Carthage and return to his native Wales and fulfill the mission to which he had been called earlier."
Dan Jones fulfilled Joseph Smith's prophecy within just a few months after the Martyrdom by returning to his native Wales and serving a four-year mission among his compatriots. He broke through the barriers of opposition by use of the printing press. Among his publications was a small book of 104 pages entitled History of the Latter-day Saints, from their establishment in the year 1823 until the time that three hundred thousand of them were exiled from America because of their religion, in the year 1846. A mosaic whose component parts originated from several different sources, the history was advertised as being just off the press in July 1847. Over thirty percent of the book was written by Jones and was based on his personal experience after converting to Mormonism four years earlier. Part of Jones's original portion is his account of the Martyrdom, one of the first published accounts by one who was with Joseph and Hyrum Smith at Carthage. Because Dan Jones's Welsh report of the Martyrdom has remained untranslated until now, it has been unavailable to the majority of those interested in Church history.
Two renditions of Dan Jones's report of the Martyrdom are presented here. The first selection is the translation from Welsh of "The Martyrdom of Joseph Smith and His Brother Hyrum!" The second report was written by Jones nine years after his Welsh rendition. It is a letter to Thomas Bullock in 1855 and contains a few more details than the earlier account.