Hyrum Smith was the older brother of Joseph Smith and played an integral role in leading the early Latter-Day Saint Movement. He assisted prophet and brother, Joseph Smith in reorganizing Christ’s church on the earth.
Hyrum Smith was born, February 9, 1800-June 27, 1844, to Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith. He received little formalized education and established himself as a farmer. He was taught by his brother, Joseph Smith, received a testimony of the church, and was baptized in 1829. He married Jerusha Barden in 1826, just 4 years before the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was established. With Jerusha, Smith had four daughters and two sons. After Jerusha’s death, he married Mary Fielding. With Mary, Smith had one son, future prophet of the Mormon Church, Joseph Fielding, and daughter, Martha.
Role in the Re-Organization of the Mormon Church
Hyrum was a great support and counselor to Joseph Smith throughout the reorganization of the church. Hyrum was one of the eight witnesses, proclaiming that the Golden Plates, the original source of the Book of Mormon, was true. Hyrum serves as one of the very first to sign his name a member of the Mormon Church. He served as preacher and missionary throughout New York in the early years of the church. Hyrum moved with his brother and the group of Mormons further west, to Kirtland, Ohio, where he helped construct the Kirtland, Ohio temple. Between 1831 and 1833, Hyrum served missions in Missouri and Ohio, proselyting throughout the land, sharing the gospel. Hyrum served as Second Counselor in the Church's First Presidency in 1837. In 1838, he was arrested, along with his brother, Joseph, and awaited trial in Carthage Jail, located in Liberty, Missouri. Both Smith brothers were arrested on charges of treason and riot.
The Death of Hyrum Smith
On June 27, 1844, Carthage Jail was attacked by an angry mob, who was after the blood of the prophet of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith. In an attempt to resist the mobsters from entering the room, Hyrum was shot and killed immediately. Joseph was killed by at least two shots, and fell through a second story window to the ground where he was shot again. At the time of his death, Hyrum Smith held the office of Associate President of the Church, standing second in authority to Joseph Smith, Jr. Hyrum Smith truly died a martyr. His descendants have helped carry out roles within the church. Joseph F. Smith, his son, served as president of the Mormon Church between 1901 and 1918. His grandson, Joseph Fielding Smith also served as president between 1970, 1972. His faithfulness and commitment to the church continued on through his posterity.