The following is the same ole rehashing of misinformation with notes throughout.
The most damaging event leading up to the martyrdom, however, was the publication of The Expositor newspaper.1 At the time, there were enemies2 of the Prophet led by William Law, who was the Prophet”s counselor; his brother Wilson Law; Chauncy Higbee; and Robert D. Foster. Their avowed goal was to bring the downfall of the Prophet.3
Rumors were started which were put down by the Prophet in a public meeting, and on April 18, 1844, the Law brothers, William Law”s wife, and Robert D. Foster, were excommunicated.4
After this, dissidents announced plans to publish a newspaper in Nauvoo called The Expositor. At this same time, William Law organized a church which he called The Reformed Church.5 Only one issue of The Expositor was published June 7, 1844. It characterized the Prophet Joseph in the vilest of terms,6 and it was then the Prophet went before the Nauvoo city council and sought to obtain an ordinance to abate the paper as a public nuisance.
There evidently was some common law authority to support such an ordinance.7 The city council acted, and within an hour and a half, the press was destroyed and the type was scattered. Immediately the newspapers in Quincy, Springfield, and Warsaw, having already declared themselves in opposition to the Church and to Joseph Smith, began to fan the flames of controversy with the bitterest of editorials.8
These are the events that inevitably led to the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum.9
[Elder Loren C. Dunn First Quorum of the Seventy and Church Historical Department executive director, "Brothers Lived Great, Died Great," Church News, June 19, 1993]
If one considers polygamy, in the name of God to be great and the marrying of fourteen year olds, then yes, Joe and Hyrum were stupidly great.
1. The Expositor was a pro-Mormon paper and said so within it. Anti-Mormon articles however regularly occurred in newspapers in adjacent towns.back
2. This strong language contributes to the misinformation everytime it is used. William and brother Wilson Law were defenders of the Mormon Church and Joe and Hyrum as the historical record shows. They were enemies of lies, about polygamy and other embarrassing atrocities like committing the Mormon vote to one person with a promise and then the breaking of that promise, etc.back
3. More hateful words to tarnish the character of individuals were should be described as Davids against a behemoth Goliath – Joe and his adherents number in the thousands in Nauvoo.back
4. Without a proper trial. back
5. As Law states, the use of the name "Reformed" implies they are striving with the people and the church and are neither "enemies" or out to get Joe.back
6. Nothing in the Expositor was untrue as te historical record now shows.back
7. That”s a stretch. Dallin Oaks already said their was no legal precedence to destroy the property, let alone by inciting a riot of over 200 of the citizens.back
8. They knew the Laws to be honorable and the paper truthful; therefore its "destruction" without a hearing or warning was wrong.back
9. Those papers led to the martyrdom – if a newspaper must be blamed – citing the use of violence as a remedy which the Expositor never did.back