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Joseph Smith Died In A "shoot-out"


consiglieri

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A recent issue of Creation magazine (December 2006-February 2007) featured an article on Mormon belief.

Next to a picture of Liberty Jail appeared the following caption:

Liberty Jail as it appeared in 1839. Smith and several of his co-leaders were imprisoned here on state charges of murder and treason. After several months, they escaped by bribing prison guards with money and alcohol. He remained a fugitive from justice until his life ended in a shoot-out on June 27, 1844.

I found the spin used in this caption to be breathtaking, and post it here for public comment.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Joseph did shoot back. However calling it a â??shoot outâ? is a distortion. However, I think calling Joseph a Martyr is also stretch of the common understanding of that term too. As usually, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

John

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And here I thought he was in jail when he was killed....

Well, he was, of course. But the article doesn't say he was not in jail. It just doesn't mention it.

After the mob assembled in the square and a large body of them overwhelmed the guard and rushed up the stairs to the room Joseph and his associates were in; and after a number of volleys were fired by them through the wooden door; and after one of those rounds hit Hyrum in the head and killed him; Joseph Smith took out a small pistol that had been smuggled into him and blindly fired about three shots around the door into the mob on the landing.

After that, Joseph Smith rushed to the window where he was hit from rounds both inside and outside.

So technically, it could be said that Joseph Smith died in a "shoot-out."

This is part of what I meant when I said I found the spin to be breathtaking.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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This is part of what I meant when I said I found the spin to be breathtaking.

The part that bothered me was the he was a fugitive from justice until his death which is untrue. I also don't believe he bribed his way out of Liberty Jail. The 'shoot-out' doesn't bother me so much because you could still call it that.

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The part that bothered me was the he was a fugitive from justice until his death which is untrue. I also don't believe he bribed his way out of Liberty Jail. The 'shoot-out' doesn't bother me so much because you could still call it that.

Again, technically, Joseph Smith was a fugitive from justice from the time that he "escaped" from Liberty Jail; and numerous times law enforcement from Missouri came over to Nauvoo to try to arrest Joseph and take him back to Missouri for "trial." Joseph Smith was successful in either hiding out from them, or taking the matter to Nauvoo city court and obtaining favorable rulings that prevented him from being taken back.

Remember the stories about the "whistling brigade" that Joseph organized in Nauvoo?

Remember the stories about Joseph Smith hiding out on that little island in the middle of the Mighty Mississipp?

So here again, while technically correct, the article manages to spin the facts quite effectively against Joseph Smith.

As I said, "breathtaking."

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Joseph did shoot back. However calling it a â??shoot outâ? is a distortion. However, I think calling Joseph a Martyr is also stretch of the common understanding of that term too. As usually, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

John

THe common understanding of the word 'martyr' is someone who is murdered or put to death for their beliefs.

How does JS's experience 'stretch' that term?

:P

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Joseph did shoot back. However calling it a â??shoot outâ? is a distortion. However, I think calling Joseph a Martyr is also stretch of the common understanding of that term too. As usually, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

John

Show me any rule, law or guideline that says a martyr cannot fire a weapon. Thanks.

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Joseph did shoot back. However calling it a â??shoot outâ? is a distortion. However, I think calling Joseph a Martyr is also stretch of the common understanding of that term too. As usually, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

John

Accourding to the dictionary of John Larsen. I really dislike private interpretations of such common words. As you can tell John, No one is interested in your opinion on the word "Martyr".

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THe common understanding of the word 'martyr' is someone who is murdered or put to death for their beliefs.

How does JS's experience 'stretch' that term?

:P

Let me make absolutely clear, Joseph Smith was unjustly murdered in a horrible fashion. The question for us here is would most people define Joseph Smith as a Martyr.

The common definition of a religious martyr includes willingly suffering or dying for a religious cause. Since Joseph fought back, many people would commonly discount his death as a martyrdom. This is compounded by the fact that Joseph was being held for violating the secular law, namely the destruction of the Nauvoo press.

Let me use an example for illustration. Joan of Arc is generally considered to be a martyr because she willing submitted to the will of the Church in her execution. If she had died in battle or had fought her captors to try to escape, she still might be considered a hero but most people would not consider her a martyr.

I seem to have hit a nerve on this one. I am just trying to point out a lexical disconnect between Mormons and non-Mormons.

John

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I seem to have hit a nerve on this one. I am just trying to point out a lexical disconnect between Mormons and non-Mormons.

John

And I think you make a fair point.

With Joseph Smith, the issue may become a little more clouded due to the presence in the same room of his brother and close associates.

Because Joseph Smith "fought back" immediately after his brother was murdered in cold blood before his eyes, it is harder to say who Joseph Smith was "fighting back" to protect, or to avenge.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Show me any rule, law or guideline that says a martyr cannot fire a weapon. Thanks.

Are these the references that you're asking for?

Isaiah 53:7 (repeated in Mosiah 14:7):

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

This is obviously speaking about Christ, speaking of the innocent and unresisting way in which Christ was killed without fighting back or running.

D&C 135:4a (talking about JS) has language parallels:

"I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summerâ??s morning"

One might get the impression from a cursory reading of this text that JS was saying he would be killed similarly to how Christ was killed, and that he would be similarly calm and unresisting. I certainly wouldn't dispute that it was a "slaughter" -- even if Joseph did injure (or even kill) a few of the attacking men, it still wasn't a fair fight.

The main issue I see is with the "lamb" part. If he had said, "as a bucking and fighting goat I am slaughtered" then I would feel it would be more accurately prophetic, at least in contrast to Christ.

--clint

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Let me make absolutely clear, Joseph Smith was unjustly murdered in a horrible fashion. The question for us here is would most people define Joseph Smith as a Martyr.

The common definition of a religious martyr includes willingly suffering or dying for a religious cause. Since Joseph fought back, many people would commonly discount his death as a martyrdom. This is compounded by the fact that Joseph was being held for violating the secular law, namely the destruction of the Nauvoo press.

Let me use an example for illustration. Joan of Arc is generally considered to be a martyr because she willing submitted to the will of the Church in her execution. If she had died in battle or had fought her captors to try to escape, she still might be considered a hero but most people would not consider her a martyr.

I seem to have hit a nerve on this one. I am just trying to point out a lexical disconnect between Mormons and non-Mormons.

John

Joseph willingly going to Carthage, where he said he would be killed, rather than running to the West or to Wisconsin, seems pretty willing to me.

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One must be careful about defining the word â??martyrâ? as simply dying for a religious cause. This casts a very wide net. Wouldnâ??t the 9/11 perpetrators then be defined as martyrs? Or Japanese Kamikaze pilots? Or Palestine who blow themselves up on buses?

I donâ??t mean to imply Joseph was a terrorist. I think Joseph was justified in shooting back. I am just trying to hone in on the word martyr. Going back to the original post comparing the loaded word â??martyrâ? with the loaded words â??shoot outâ?. The latter implies Joseph was a criminal, the former implies he was innocent or passive. Both extremes are a stretch.

John

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Are these the references that you're asking for?

Isaiah 53:7 (repeated in Mosiah 14:7):

This is obviously speaking about Christ, speaking of the innocent and unresisting way in which Christ was killed without fighting back or running.

D&C 135:4a (talking about JS) has language parallels:

One might get the impression from a cursory reading of this text that JS was saying he would be killed similarly to how Christ was killed, and that he would be similarly calm and unresisting. I certainly wouldn't dispute that it was a "slaughter" -- even if Joseph did injure (or even kill) a few of the attacking men, it still wasn't a fair fight.

The main issue I see is with the "lamb" part. If he had said, "as a bucking and fighting goat I am slaughtered" then I would feel it would be more accurately prophetic, at least in contrast to Christ.

--clint

Who said anything about the martyrdom having to directly parallel the death of the Savior?

One must be careful about defining the word â??martyrâ? as simply dying for a religious cause. This casts a very wide net. Wouldnâ??t the 9/11 perpetrators then be defined as martyrs? Or Japanese Kamikaze pilots? Or Palestine who blow themselves up on buses?

I donâ??t mean to imply Joseph was a terrorist. I think Joseph was justified in shooting back. I am just trying to hone in on the word martyr. Going back to the original post comparing the loaded word â??martyrâ? with the loaded words â??shoot outâ?. The latter implies Joseph was a criminal, the former implies he was innocent or passive. Both extremes are a stretch.

John

Ah, I see. A martyr doesn't count if you disagree with their cause.

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Joseph willingly going to Carthage, where he said he would be killed, rather than running to the West or to Wisconsin, seems pretty willing to me.

Just for clarification, he did run. He was smuggled out of Nauvoo across the river but later decided to give up. He indicated at one point it was because his family and friends had abandoned him. Clearly his sole intention wasn't to submit himself to the law, at least not in the beginning.

John

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Just for clarification, he did run. He was smuggled out of Nauvoo across the river but later decided to give up. He indicated at one point it was because his family and friends had abandoned him. Clearly his sole intention wasn't to submit himself to the law, at least not in the beginning.

John

Did he or did he not willingly choose to go to Carthage?

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I seem to be accused of making up my own definition of the word. I think I have made clear my understand. So those of you who don't like my definition, please give me a better definition.

John

Did he or did he not willingly choose to go to Carthage?

Did OJ willing go to the LA County lockup? Eventually.

John

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I believe Joseph's act of martyrdom was when he surrendered to the law knowing he wasn't going to survive going to Carthage, which he didn't. He had the means to avoid and the man power to fight that fate, then and there. The actual scene of his death, not the model martyr scene starting from that point, thought his single gun vs 200 guns is not what I'd call a "battle" or "shoot out" to disqualify the martyrdom, in the context that he had any expectation that his could still change his fate.

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Ah, I see. A martyr doesn't count if you disagree with their cause.

Actually, I do agree with the cause of the Palestinians. I just don't agree with these sorts of violent methods. There are many Palestinian martyrs. I just wouldn't count those who choose this path as martyrs.

John

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One must be careful about defining the word â??martyrâ? as simply dying for a religious cause. This casts a very wide net. Wouldnâ??t the 9/11 perpetrators then be defined as martyrs? Or Japanese Kamikaze pilots? Or Palestine who blow themselves up on buses?

Yes, those are all martyrs as well.

Being labeled a martyr is not an endorsement of someone's beliefs. Using the word in that way makes it a useless word because it reduces it to 'i agree with the cause this person died for' and nothing more.

The moment we start witholding the use of certain words to apply to people or events we disagree with-we make words useless and without ANY meaning whatsoever.

It's a self-serving method for defining things.

:P

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Again, technically, Joseph Smith was a fugitive from justice from the time that he "escaped" from Liberty Jail.

But would he have been considered a fugitive after he was in Cathage Jail? I thought at the point he was put into jail again, he was no longer a fugitive, but a captive. Maybe I am wrong.

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