Do Mormons consider Smith to be a Maryr

How can he be a maryr and be killed in a gun fight.

Yes they do! To be historically accurate, however, his “martyrdom” was brought on by how Mormons in Navoo were treating non-mormons, calling them “gentiles” and having an attitude that you had to be moral to the faithful saints but, could treat gentiles however you wanted to, lie cheat steal it’s all ok. Actually, according to the records of the Navoo Masonic Lodge(Brigham Young and Joseph Smith were high ranking Masons) Brigham set up the martyrdom of “Prophet” Joseph so he could take over the church. These are the real begginings of the church that the LDS won’t tell you!

A really intersting book if you can find it in print is:
Wife number19 by Anne Eliza Young a woman that was one of Brigham Young’s wives who managed to escape and go to New York and writes a tell all book and she had a tale to tell!

I wouldn’t think he’d be a “martyr” unless someone killed him while he had been preaching or something. If he died in a gun fight, himself wielding a gun, I don’t think that would be the grounds of martyrdom. They should willingly accept their death for the sake of their faith and beliefs, they must be selfless. :o

I may be wrong, but i think that he was unarmed at the time. He was in jail. I can’t recall the whole story

Woops, I was wrong. According to most reports, he was armed and did shoot at least three men. He was in jail for destroying a newspaper that wrote against him and the LDS

Yeah I wouldn’t go as far to say that he was a “martyr”…Shooting others isn’t really the idea.

Only in Mormonism and Islam is a martyr someone who dies while killing other people.

Joseph Smith a " Maryr "??? Yes indeed, he was a " maryr " ( marry ) of MANY young woman.

A martyr??, well no, but certainly an avid maryr :):slight_smile:


He was a martyr because he could have avoided being in the jail; he was talked into going, and he knew very well that he would probably be killed as a result. He told quite a few people this, but he went anyway.

As well, he didn’t start shooting BACK until the mob of 200 or so men in black-face had actually killed his brother. Then he shot into the men coming up the stairs three times before his pistol misfired.

Then he dropped the pistol, went over to the window and stood in front of it. He was then shot, fell out of the window and landed on the ground outside, where the attackers sat him up against the wall and ‘shot him to doll rags.’

He did not shoot first. He not armed when he himself was shot and killed. He was killed because of his religion.

The ‘killed because of his religion’ is what makes him a martyr. The rest of it? That simply shows up the character of those who hated him.

Not that being a martyr means anything to us, y’know. We don’t think, as Catholics do, that being a martyr is an instant ticket to sainthood (in the Catholic sense) and heaven. But we do believe that he was murdered unjustly by cowardly and dishonest men.

…unless you think that dismantling a printing press (for which he offered to pay the damages) which was used by men who had plotted to assassinate him and which was used to print a paper that called for the neighbors to come in and commit violent acts against the Mormons in Nauvoo is a capital offense?

So heinous a crime, indeed, that there was no need for a trial before the execution?

He was a martyr. You just don’t like the belief for which he died. That’s fine and all, but whether you approve of us or not, there really isn’t any way to portray the storming of a jail by 200 men who thought they were about to murder four unarmed prisoners as a 'blazing gunfight."

I wonder how many men they would have thought they needed if they’d KNOWN that Joseph had a gun with five bullets in it?

As to traditional martyrs not fighting back? Of course they did. All those Christian martyrs who were put in front of the lions in the Roman coliseums? Mothers and fathers fought to keep the animals from eating their children and spouses. Paul attempted to evade his own death by using his status as a Roman citizen…did that mean that he was not, after all, a martyr?

As for me, I wish it HAD been a 'blazing gunfight." I wish that the four men in that upper room had been very well armed indeed; perhaps with AK 47’s. Then there would have been a trial, Joseph would have been acquitted (as usual) or convicted, and history would have been far different.

You will notice that even the folks back then couldn’t QUITE swallow this whole; the men who attacked the jail were put on trial (token only, they were not convicted) and nobody even considered charging the two prisoners who survived with anything, even if one of them actually defended himself with his cane.

And the whole thing was just about the stupidest thing the enemies of the church could do. If there was anything in the world they could do that would more completely pull the Mormons as a people together and ensure their survival as a group and as a religion, I don’t know what it would have been.

So if you won’t condemn this murder as the cowardly act of bigotry and hate that it actually was, how about condemning it as an act of pure lunatic stupidity?

Smith was killed for a complex number of reasons, none of which were holy in nature.

there were many people who actually DID the things that you accuse Joseph Smith of doing, but none of them were murdered at the hands of a mob.

He was murdered because of his religion. The EXCUSES were as you claim, but the reason? His religion.

After all, the early Christians who died because of their religion were not charged with that, per se…they were charged with things like blasphemy, atheism, and rampant disregard of human life akin to murder (that was when they refused to participate in the religious rites that were done in order to prevent a plague, and were publicly executed as a result)

No, the Romans didn’t kill all those Christians simply because they believed in Jesus Christ–that wasn’t a problem. They were killed (even at Nero’s hands) because they didn’t do things the culture around them thought they should, and DID do things the culture around them though they should not do, and which were against the law.

Excuses…but the reason they did…or did not…do these things was because of their religion. That made them martyrs, and the reason Joseph Smith was killed (instead of sued or arrested and tried) was because of his religion.

Whether you like it or not.

One of their scholars defines martyrdom as:

“the willing acceptance of death from the hands of wicked men rather than to forsake Christ and his gospel.”
(Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie 1966 p. 469)
I don’t think it is an unfair question to ask how this definition of martyrdom can be applied to Smith’s death since he went down in a hail of bullets as he fired his own six-shooter at his enemies, killing two and wounding one. It seems he was quite unwilling to give up his life in defense of his religious teachings. (History of the Church 1973 ed. Vol. 6, pp. 618-620 Vol. 7, p. 102)
Smith brought destruction upon himself when in revenge he ordered a printing press destroyed. It was owned by Mormons who opposed his teaching on polygamy and that there were many gods. Smith’s death was indeed murder and entirely wrong, but he was not a “martyr.”

The circumstances surrounding his death were far different from that of the deacon Stephen (Acts of Apostles 7: 59-60) who was the first martyr for Christ. There we read how he WILLINGLY and CALMLY gave up his life for his belief in Jesus and cried out forgiveness for his persecutors as they were killing him.

Diana, comparing Smith to true Christian martyrs does not make him one. No Christian martyr ever died for polygamy, political ambitions, or destroying truthful writings about themselves. None of these are holy aspirations. He may be a mormon martyr, but that has nothing to do with who you are comparing him to.

Whether you like it or not.

Certainly, he was just dying to marry more than one person. :thumbsup: Seems like a wonderful cause (hence he’s a mormon martyr).

Whether you like it or not.

“Not that being a martyr means anything to us, y’know. We don’t think, as Catholics do, that being a martyr is an instant ticket to sainthood (in the Catholic sense) and heaven.”

And you call yourselves Latter-day Saints…

Where did Jesus say that it was acceptable to KILL those who attempted to kill you for your faith?

1: he didn’t kill anybody. Sorry…but that was a bit of wishful thinking on the part of the Mormons, who really wanted to think that he had won SOMETHING in that attack. However, he didn’t…and the three who were wounded (probably by him, but perhaps not…there were a great many bullets flying around) did not die as a result of their wounds. Sorry.

As well, the 'willingness to die" part was satisfied by the fact that he turned himself in and allowed himself to be jailed in the first place, even though he KNEW that he was putting himself in that position. He wasn’t kidnapped and arrested, sir, he voluntarily turned himself in, upon the promise that he would be protected—a promise that he completely discounted; he didn’t believe it for a second, and he said so.

They were “ex-Mormons,” actually, who had been excommunicated, were bitter enemies of the church to the point that they had actively plotted to assassinate Joseph and Hyrum; their plots were overheard and derailed. They then actively invited people to enter Nauvoo for the express purpose of doing violence to the Mormons there…

And ‘in revenge’ Joseph dismantled their printing press and offered to pay for the damage. Wow. That’s harsh.

By the way, according to Acts, Stephen was “caught” and “brought” before the council of the Sanhedrin, where he was speaking in his own defense. Stephen was doing some pretty fancy condemning at the time of his trial; he was using words like “stiffnecked and Uncircumcised in heart and ears” (that was quite an insult…) calling them betrayers and murderers, accusing them of all manner of things because they didn’t believe him.

Then he saw his vision–and the mob attacked him. He didn’t have a lot of time to do any fighting back, will he, nil he.

So was he willing? He had no choice, willing or not. Was he calm? Perhaps…but I’m not certain that an utterly calm man would have used quite THOSE words… He was doing what we now call 'bible thumping."

He said what needed saying. He was a martyr…and the differences between Stephen and Joseph seemed to be this: Stephen was 'caught" and “brought” to the Sanhedrin where he endured a mockery of a trial, was attacked by a mob after he told 'em what he thought of 'em.

Joseph voluntarily submitted himself (was not ‘caught and brought,’ in other words, but calmly rode into the situation of his own free will) to imprisonment and was attacked by a mob that he did not inflame with words; their actions were preplanned and deliberate. In both cases, at the specific moment of death, they were unarmed and helpless, the target of out of control mobs.

But the thing about both of them is this: both were killed because of their religion. THAT is what makes a martyr.

It doesn’t matter whether you like the religion. It doesn’t matter if the martyr involved attempted to avoid his fate–it BETTER not make a difference, because if it did then men like Paul and Peter were not martyrs either…and neither, by the way, was Stephen. He did attempt to avoid his fate, too, didn’t he? Didn’t he defend his beliefs before the Sanhedrin?

I do not believe that God likes it when His people choose death when it can be avoided without compromising His commandments/principles.

However, here’s something for you: if you don’t want to give Joseph the title of ‘martyr," then you sure as shootin’ have to give HYRUM that title.

Yes. Which is why I put the “in the Catholic sense” disclaimer in parentheses.


I say that Joseph wasn’t attempting to kill anybody. (He didn’t kill anybody, as it turns out…) He was attempting to stop the mob from killing him and the other two men left alive in the room.

Now you, as a Catholic, should understand the difference here. After all, y’all believe that it is perfectly all right to kill a fetus if the primary purpose is not to kill the fetus or end a pregnancy, but rather to perform a medical procedure that would save the life of the mother, right? If the result of that procedure is the unavoidable death of the fetus, that’s unfortunate, but acceptable, as in…not ‘abortion?’

So…Joseph’s shooting at the men coming into the room who were shooting at HIM was simply an attempt to keep them from coming into the room. If death was an unavoidable byproduct, well…that’s unfortunate but acceptable, right?

Especially since, as it turns out, nobody died.

Except, of course, Joseph and his brother.

By the way, we know that nobody died because the men who claimed to have been shot by Joseph were the men who were tried for his murder; the evidence against them? The fact that they had been shot during the attack.

This is why I hate the way some of these discussions go. They end up being flame wars.

I have never seen a statement from the Catholic Church that approves killing a pre-born baby for any reason.

As a bit of a hobby, I study LDS history and find it very interesting. That said, I also would never believe in it, but I would love to see mutual respect and charity. I see Mormonism as one of the products of an age when there were all kinds unique belief systems popping up in the United States.

IMHO, Joseph Smith’s death within the context of a gunfight puts him outside consideration for being a martyr. If he sat in the cell while the mob enraged by the Expositor incident stormed the jail and then went peacefully to his end, I would say that would make him a martyr for the faith he thought correct. No one disputes that he was firing a weapon that eventually failed to operate. Firing a gun at someone is trying to kill that person.

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