September 28, 2023

Edward Hunter on Joseph Smith's death

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Edward Hunter an early Saint, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was baptized in Pennsylvania and gathered with the Saints in Nauvoo. Edward Hunter was a firm supporter of the prophet Joseph Smith and did everything he could to help the prophet and the Church.

Day's before the death of the prophet Joseph Smith, Brother Edward Hunter and two other men went to defend the Saints to the governor in Springfield, and returned on June 27 1844, around the same time the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed in Carthage Jail.

Edward Hunter was one of the men who helped care for the bodies. He helped bring them back to Nauvoo and safely bury Joseph and Hyrum, in the chaos of persecutions of the time.

Of the events following the Martyrdom, Edward wrote:

“Next day, [Joseph and Hyrum’s] bodies were brought from Carthage to Nauvoo. We formed two lines to receive them; I was placed on the extreme right, to wheel in after the bodies, and march to the Mansion. As we passed the Temple, there were crowds of mourners there, lamenting the great loss of our Prophet and Patriarch. The scene was enough to almost melt the soul of man. Mr. Brewer, myself and others took brother Joseph’s body in to the Mansion House. … At midnight [we] carried the body of Joseph from the Mansion House to the Nauvoo House, and put him and Hyrum in one grave. Their death was hard to bear. Our hope was almost gone, not knowing then that Joseph had prepared for the Kingdom to go on, by delivering the keys to the Twelve and rolling off the burden from his shoulders on to theirs”

The time after the death of the prophet Joseph Smith was terrible for the Saints of The Church. Persecutions were still threatening the members and they needed to move on quickly. The members did what they could to sell their land, and homes but most just abandoned all with no compensation. The troubles of the Saints is unimaginable, but their strength continued to build.

Today, the home of Edward Hunter has been restored in Nauvoo, and you can tour his home and hear home incredible first hand accounts of living and helping the prophet Joseph Smith.


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