In June 1844, a mob stormed the stairs of a jail in Carthage, Ill., where four men were being held. When it was over, the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith were dead. John Taylor was wounded but alive. The fourth man in the jail that day was Willard Richards — an apostle and personal secretary of Joseph Smith who recorded the only contemporary account of the martyrdom (Taylor wrote an account just over a decade later).
"A FAMILY OF FAITH: An Intimate View of Church History through the Journals of Three Generations of Apostles — Willard Richards, Franklin D. Richards, and George F. Richards, 1837-1950," edited by Kent F. Richards, Deseret Book, $37.99, 448 pages (nf)
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