A thick air of gloom hung over Joseph and the others at the jail. They had been continually threatened with death since their arrival. And although the chance of returning to his family didn’t seem likely, Joseph found some measure of comfort, enjoying at this time the companionship of a few of his most intimate friends, including his older brother, Hyrum. On June 27th, as John Taylor sang “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” and the words, “if I for him would die?” echoed in that upstairs bedroom, what might have passed through Joseph’s mind? It is not hard to imagine him mentally preparing himself to do just that—die for his Savior. Jesus had, after all, set Joseph’s feet upon the path that eventually led him here. Some twenty-four years earlier, by His own voice and presence, the Son of God had conversed with Joseph in the grove. Since then, revelation after revelation came from that familiar voice, beginning with such words as, “Thus saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ…” (D&C 38: 1). Jesus was Joseph’s Lord—the God he had learned to obey. Joseph worshipped Him, conversed with Him, received instructions from Him, and looked to Him in all things. It is therefore, no surprise that when gunfire began to fly around the prisoners like hail, and the work of murder commenced, the last words from the prophet’s lips were, “O Lord my God!” This was not a random cry of fear, such as the world uses, but more than likely the beginning of an unspoken prayer, the substance of which we do not yet know. But Jesus knew, and was on hand to escort Joseph beyond the reach of his enemies.
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