One night a man and his wife were preparing for bed. Their two adopted children (twins) had been very ill. The babies finally fell asleep after many hours of restlessness so this man's wife told him that they had better get some sleep as well. Shortly after they had drifted off to sleep, the young father was yanked out of his slumber by the sound of his wife screaming and he noticed that about a dozen men were pouring into his home.
Before he knew what was happening, he found himself being dragged from his bed and out into the frigid night air. He tried to break free from the many hands that grasped him but was only able to get one leg loose. He kicked out with that leg, knocking one of his captors to the ground. He was immediately overpowered again and told that they would kill him if he tried to escape again. Then he was seized by the throat and lapsed into unconsciousness.
When he regained consciousness, he found himself in the fields beyond his home. He had been stripped of all of his clothing. The men then proceeded to beat him and scratch up his skin. As if that was not enough, he was then covered with hot tar. They tried to force the tar into his mouth. He resisted and they ended up chipping one of his teeth. The men finally ended their torture and left him for dead. He managed to crawl back to his home and his wife fainted when she saw the state he was in. She thought he was covered in blood.
His friends spent the night gently scraping the tar from his body and cleaning him as best they could. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the door to their home was left open when the men dragged him out, the cold night air poured into the room where one of the sick infants was sleeping. This baby died a few days later because he contracted a severe cold on top of the measles he was already inflicted with.
Why would this young father be subjected to such torture? What could prompt such treatment?
This story is about Joseph Smith.
If you know anything about Joseph Smith's story, then you may know why he was subjected to the torture. Many people did not appreciate his account of seeing and talking to God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. They felt as though he had been deceived by the devil and that he was a con man.
Now, I have a question for you...
After enduring this horrific experience of being dragged from your home in the middle of the night, stripped of all your clothing, beaten, slathered with hot tar and left to die, would you continue to preach and talk about a lie?
But, he couldn't do that because his story was true.
However, we can't judge things of a spiritual nature solely with the limited capabilities of our logical and mortal brains.
We have to exercise faith.
We have to humble ourselves and ask God if these things are true.
It's the only way for you to truly know that these miraculous events actually did happen. I can say that I know they happened because I have had that witness to my heart and mind. And I, like Joseph Smith, cannot deny it. I know that God knows that I know and there is no turning back from that.
I leave you with the words of an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. This powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith brings me to tears every...single...time. I love the Prophet Joseph and I cannot wait for the day that I will be able to personally thank him for the many, many sacrifices he made. For the countless times he was persecuted because of his testimony and resolve to do the Lord's will.