We had a remarkable day today. We spent time at Carthage Jail, where an anti-Mormon mob murdered Joseph and Hyrum Smith and grievously wounded the English-born future third president of the Church, John Taylor, on 27 June 1844. It wasn’t my first time there, but I found it deeply moving.
We also attended a session in the Nauvoo Illinois Temple, where we ran into George Durrant and his relatively new wife Susan Easton Black, who are serving a temple mission, and where, thanks to the president of the Temple, Elder Spencer J. Condie, we had a never-to-be-equalled-or-forgotten experience.
Incidentally, I hope that Tom Sharp, of the Warsaw Signal, and the other architects of Joseph Smith’s murder get to peek in on things in their old environs once in a while.
The mob’s acton at Carthage was supposed to put an end not only to Joseph and Hyrum but to Mormonism. Sharp died and is buried in Carthage, which looks as if it hasn’t had much economic activity since, say, 1940. The only thing of any interest in the town, really, is the Carthage Jail, which is owned and maintained as a visitor center by . . . the Mormons. It’s almost a shrine to Joseph and Hyrum. And Thomas Sharp is forgotten, except as a distasteful footnote to the story of Mormonism and of the two brothers whose murder he encouraged. Meanwhile,, half an hour away, much of Nauvoo has been restored. The temple has been rebuilt. The Mormons are back.
Posted from Keokuk, Iowa.