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Joseph Smith, Sr. jailed

posted Mar 19, 2017 06:59:15 by David.Clark
I was studying the Sunday school lesson for gospel doctrine and I came across the following:
“Joseph Smith, Sr., was filled with the testimony of the truth, and was always anxious to share it with others. He was almost sixty when he made the tedious journey … to carry the gospel to his father and mother, his sisters and brothers. Soon after his return [home,] he was imprisoned for a small debt of fourteen dollars, rather than deny the divinity of the Book of Mormon and be forgiven the debt! He was cast into a cell with a condemned murderer and left for four days without food. Later he was transferred to the prison workyard where he preached the gospel and converted two persons whom he later baptized. He was in prison a full month before his family was able to obtain his release” (E. Cecil McGavin, The Family of Joseph Smith [1963], 68; see also Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, ed. Preston Nibley [1958], 172–73, 179–86).
This was new to me. What dedication to the Lord and humility to sustain his son as the Lord's prophet!! An example I would like to follow more completely.

P.S. I'm glad we don't have debtors prison anymore (at least for now...)
Formerly known as Alabama LDS
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7 replies
SusanMalone said Mar 19, 2017 14:06:12
this is new to me also. wow. I am sure that he passed this huge test which involved descent and humiliation to ascend to a higher level of glory. May we all be as faithful as he was! Thanks so much for sharing this information!
RyanAllen said Mar 19, 2017 22:49:13
I loved that he taught and testified no matter where he was. I should be opening my mouth and testifying more.
JulieK said Mar 19, 2017 23:07:44
What I find fascinating it that Joseph Smith Sr. had been prepared to father a prophet. He received 7 prophetic dreams teaching him that a great work was about to come forth and that he would take part in it. His dream began in April 1811 and continued until 1819. The following is the text of Joseph Smith Sr.'s dream (this was his second dream or vision) taken from Lucy Mack Smith's account:

“I thought, said he, “I was traveling in an open, desolate field which appeared to be very barren. As I was thus traveling, the thought suddenly came into my mind that I had better stop and reflect upon what I was doing before I went any farther. So I asked myself, ‘What motive can I have in traveling here, and what place can this be?’

“My guide, who was by my side as before, said, ‘This is the desolate world, but travel on.’ The road was so broad and barren that I wondered why I should travel in it, for said I to myself, ‘Broad is the road, and wide is the gate that leads to death, and many there be that walk therein; but narrow is the way, and strait is the gate that leads to everlasting life, and few there be that go in thereat.’

“Traveling a short distance further, I came to a narrow path. This path I entered, and, when I had traveled a little way in it, I beheld a beautiful stream of water which ran from the east to the west. Of this stream I could see neither the source nor yet the mouth, but as far as my eyes could extend I could see a rope, running along the bank of it about as high as a man could reach, and beyond me was a low but very pleasant valley in which stood a tree such as I had never seen before. It was exceedingly handsome, insomuch that I looked upon it with wonder and admiration. Its beautiful branches spread themselves somewhat like an umbrella, and it bore a kind of fruit, in shape much like a chestnut bur, and as white as snow, or, if possible, whiter. I gazed upon the same with considerable interest, and as I was doing so, the burs or shells commenced opening and shedding their particles, or the fruit which they contained, which was of dazzling whiteness. I drew near and began to eat of it, and I found it delicious beyond description.

“As I was eating, I said in my heart, ‘I cannot eat this alone, I must bring my wife and children, that they may partake with me.’ Accordingly, I went and brought my family, which consisted of a wife and seven children, and we all commenced eating and praising God for this blessing. We were exceedingly happy, insomuch that our joy could not easily be expressed.

“While thus engaged, I beheld a spacious building standing opposite the valley which we were in, and it appeared to reach to the very heavens. It was full of doors and windows, and they were all filled with people, who were very finely dressed. When these people observed us in the low valley, under the tree, they pointed the finger of scorn at us, and treated us with all manner of disrespect and contempt. But their contumely we utterly disregarded.

“I presently turned to my guide and inquired of him the meaning of the fruit that was so delicious. He told me it was the pure love of God, shed abroad in the hearts of all those who love him and keep his commandments. He then commanded me to go and bring the rest of my children. I told him that we were all there. ‘No,’ he replied, ‘look yonder, you have two more, and you must bring them also.’ Upon raising my eyes, I saw two small children standing some distance off. I immediately went to them and brought them to the tree, upon which they commenced eating with the rest, and we all rejoiced together. (5) The more we ate, the more we seemed to desire, until we even got down upon our knees and scooped it up, eating it by double handfuls.

“After feasting in this manner a short time, I asked my guide what was the meaning of the spacious building which I saw. He replied, ‘It is Babylon, it is Babylon, and it must fall. The people in the doors and windows are the inhabitants thereof, who scorn and despise the Saints of God because of their humility.’ I soon awoke, clapping my hands together for joy.”
SusanMalone said Mar 20, 2017 05:19:08
wow- I have never read this before. This is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing it :-)
Kathryn Blose said Mar 20, 2017 06:10:45
Amazing how true conversion brings out such fearless dedication to the truth~
JulieK said Mar 20, 2017 16:36:37
Susan, it was amazing to me to read that he had seen the "Tree of Life" vision similar to Lehi's dream. I believe that I've read of others also who have seen the "Tree of Life" vision.
BeckyG. said Mar 20, 2017 21:17:19
I so loved reading this. It's Lehi's dream. I love that story.
Faith not Fear!!
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