Doctrine and Covenants
Week 29: Martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph; Brigham Young leads the Saints west
27 May 2021
Notes and lesson materials will be posted after the class has been held.
Lesson 29 notes
Lesson 29 handout: Willard Richards’ account of the Martyrdom and diagram of Carthage Jail
Lesson 29 slideshow (on‑screen version)
Lesson 29 slideshow (printable version)
Additional reading and links
Alexander L. Baugh and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, “‘I Roll the Burthen and Responsibility of Leading This Church Off from My Shoulders on to Yours’: The 1844/1845 Declaration of the Quorum of the Twelve Regarding Apostolic Succession,” BYU Studies 49, no. 3 (2010): 4–19.
Dallin H. Oaks, “The Suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor,” Utah Law Review 9, no. 4 (Winter 1965): 862–903. Oaks argues that the Nauvoo city council’s action to destroy the Expositor press was legal within the understanding of the law in Joseph’s time.
Joseph L. Lyon and David W. Lyon, “Physical Evidence at Carthage Jail and What It Reveals about the Assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith,” BYU Studies 47, no. 4 (2008): 4–50.
Mark Lyman Staker and LaJean Purcell Carruth, “John Taylor’s June 27, 1854, Account of the Martyrdom,” BYU Studies 50, no. 3 (2011): 25–62.
D. Michael Quinn, “The Mormon Succession Crisis of 1844,” BYU Studies 16, no. 2 (Winter 1976): 187–233. Quinn argues that Joseph did not leave clear directions on who should succeed him and this spurred a crisis that was resolved only when the majority of the Saints threw their support behind Brigham Young and the Twelve.
Ronald K. Esplin, “Joseph, Brigham and the Twelve: A Succession of Continuity,” BYU Studies 21, no. 3 (Summer 1981): 301–41. Esplin counters Quinn’s article by arguing that the path of succession was clear from Joseph’s statements and canonized revelations.
Russel R. Rich, “Nineteenth-Century Break-offs,” Ensign (September 1979): 68–71. Rich describes some of the schismatic groups that broke away from the restored Church during the Prophet Joseph’s life and after his death.