June 27, 1844
"To seal the testimony of this book and the Book of Mormon, we announce the martyrdom of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and Hyrum Smith the Patriarch. They were shot in Carthage jail, on the 27th of June, 1844, about five o’clock p.m., by an armed mob—painted black—of from 150 to 200 persons. Hyrum was shot first and fell calmly, exclaiming: I am a dead man! Joseph leaped from the window, and was shot dead in the attempt, exclaiming: O Lord my God! They were both shot after they were dead, in a brutal manner, and both received four balls."
"Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.
In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain.
He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!"
-Doctrine & Covenants 135:3
Because of this great man, this prophet of God, I was able to have this joyous day in my life.
On Friday, June 30, 2017, my son received his endowment at the Salt Lake Temple. (For more information on what an "endowment" is, click here.)
It is a day that I have looked forward to since I first held him in my arms as a newborn baby. To say that I am grateful for the choices that he has made in his life that have brought him to this place would be a huge understatement. And this opportunity to go to the temple to make covenants with God was definitely his choice. Not mine. Not Mark's. Josh's choice.
So why be grateful to Joseph Smith? What role did he play in my son being able to go to the temple?
Because Joseph Smith asked a simple question,
I am loving my second chance at life.
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