JS Lesson #46: The Martyrdom: The Prophet Seals His Testimony With His Blood

In thinking about the death of Joseph Smith, the lesson seems to be trying to make three main points:

1) The circumstances surrounding Joseph Smith and the position of the saints in Nauvoo had come to a head and Joseph had a keen awareness of his mortality and the end of his earthly ministry in the months leading up to his murder.

2) Joseph prepared for his own death by making a point of passing on important revelations as well as essential priesthood keys and powers he held to his appointed leaders, should they need to proceed without him.

3) The tradition of the church has been to understand the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum in classic martyrological terms, thus adding a Mormon dimension to the notion of “sealing one’s testimony with one’s blood.”

The lesson seems to leave room for questions about God’s hand in Joseph’s death, what doctrines and essential Mormon keys Joseph was emphasizing at the end of his life and how we think about the manner of Joseph’s death in relation to his earthly mission.

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