With the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, on June 27, 1844, John Taylor related that, "the best blood of the nineteenth century (was spilt). . . . From age to age shall their names go down to posterity as gems for the sanctified." (D&C 135:6.)
Aptly summarizing the relationship between the two brothers, Elder Taylor recorded: "In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!" (D&C 135:3.)At the time of their deaths, the two held the keys of the kingdom, for with Hyrum's calling as Patriarch and Assistant President three years previous, he had been given all the priesthood formerly held by Oliver Cowdery, and had been told to "act in concert also with my servant Joseph. . . ." (D&C 124:95.)
The love and unswerving loyalty and devotion Hyrum showed his younger brother is well documented. Lucy Mack Smith explained how one day Hyrum was informed by another brother, Don Carlos Smith, that the Prophet needed Hyrum's wood chest in which to keep the golden plates, breastplate and Urim and Thummim.
Hyrum was having a cup of tea with some friends at that time. "Without waiting to hear one (more) word. . . he dropped the cup, sprang from the table, caught the chest, turned it upside down, and emptying its contents on the floor, left the house instantly with the chest on his shoulder." (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother)
In several revelations throughout the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord blesses Hyrum for his integrity, honesty, and eagerness to preach the gospel. Joseph trusted his older brother implicitly, and often sought his advice. (Joseph Smith, Martyr, Prophet of God, Francis M. Gibbons, p. 314.)
In a blessing the Prophet gave Hyrum in 1833, Joseph said that Hyrum's name "shall be called a blessing among men. . . thousands of souls shall he be an instrument in the hand of his God in bringing unto salvation. . . . His children shall be many and his posterity numerous, and they shall rise up and call him blessed." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.)
Two of Hyrum's posterity later were called as prophets - Joseph F. Smith, his son; and Joseph Fielding Smith, his grandson. Joseph F. Smith saw his father in a vision, and counted him among "the choice spirits who were reserved to come forth in the fulness of times to take part in laying the foundations of the great latter-day work. . . the noble and great ones who were chosen in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God." (D&C 138:53, 55.)
Articles on this page may be used in conjunction with the gospel doctrine course of study.
Information compiled by Gerry Avant and Elayne Wells
Sources: History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, by Lucy Mack Smith; Joseph Smith, Martyr, Prophet of God by Francis M. Gibbons; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson; Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, by Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl; Essentials in Church History, by Joseph Fielding Smith; A Chronology of the Doctrine and Covenants, by Dell Van Orden and Gerry Avant.