"Joseph and Hyrum spent the last few days of their mortal lives together as prisoners in Carthage, brothers to the very end. On June 26 Joseph told his brethren, 'Could my brother, Hyrum but be liberated, it would not matter so much about me' (History of the Church, 6:592). Later that evening, as they both prepared for what they must have known was ahead, Hyrum 'read . . . copious extracts from the Book of Mormon' and commented upon them. 'Joseph bore a powerful testimony to the guards of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon . . . and that the Kingdom of God was again upon the earth' (Dan Jones manuscript, "The Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith," LDS Church Archives, p. 9). "Late in the afternoon of 27 June 1844, a hate-driven mob burst up the stairs and into the room where Hyrum, ever the older brother, was holding the door in an attempt to protect the others. He became the first martyr that dark day, falling to the floor when he was shot, declaring, 'I am a dead man!' Joseph's thoughts went immediately to his brother. He exclaimed, 'Oh! my poor, dear brother Hyrum!' (History of the Church, 7:102). John Taylor was the next prisoner to be shot, after which Joseph leapt to the window to draw the mob's attention. As soon as he was shot and fell to the ground below, the mob rushed outside, leaving the wounded John Taylor to survey the gruesome scene in the room. He later recorded: 'I had a full view of our beloved and now murdered brother, Hyrum. There he lay as I had left him; he had not moved a limb; he lay placid and calm, a monument of greatness even in death; but his noble spirit had left its tenement, and was gone to dwell in regions more congenial to its exalted nature' (History of the Church, 7:107)."
M. Russell Ballard, "Brothers Bound by Love and Faith," Ensign, Sept. 1994, 66
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