June 27, 1844

Today is the anniversary of the deaths of Hyrum and Joseph Smith. It comes at the annual cycle when light begins to dim. A great eclipse of light happened on that day. What was left has proven inadequate to allow the restoration to be completed.

We are now 175 years past that tragedy. Between that day and today fools, knaves, pretenders, and ambitious men have rushed forward offering themselves as replacement “prophets, seers, revelators, translators, presidents and God’s spokesmen.” But reviving the restoration requires more than vanity and self-proclaiming profiteers.

Even in the most successful organizations that exploit the name and memory of Hyrum and Joseph it should be apparent that something absolutely necessary was gone when the two brothers were slain. Yet fortunes continue to accumulate and abuse of one another spreads wide and far among the pseudo-followers of Hyrum and Joseph Smith.

Joseph’s last dream of a dilapidated and neglected farm he would no longer claim has surely come to pass. Angry men with “knives” in hand certainly now fight over it.

Truer words were never spoken than when Joseph declared to the Nauvoo crowd they never knew him. The descendants of that group share in that first generation’s ignorance of that man.

Joseph was an honorable, honest and virtuous man to whom the pure in heart, wise, noble and virtuous seek constantly for counsel, authority and blessings. Only fools hold him in derision.