f there is anything in this world that is the most awesome, it's the Gospel. I wouldn't leave home without it.
I was just reading the Wentworth Letter. A letter Joseph Smith wrote to a newspaper editor detailing the church's history, progression, beliefs, etc..
Though I already know the history of the church and all the crap they put up with, I'm still amazed at the chutzpah the early saints and Joseph Smith had.
This may not be new to you, but it's worth reading over and over.
...and organized mob assembled and burned our houses, tarred and feathered and whipped many of our brethren, and finally, contrary to the law, justice and humanity, drove them from their habitations; who, houseless and homeless, had to wander on the bleak prairie. This took place in the month of November, and they had no other covering but the canopy of heaven, in this inclement season of the year; this proceeding was winked at by the government, and although we had warranty deeds for our land, and violated no law, we could obtain no redress.
...in 1838 we were again attacked by mobs, an exterminating order was issued by Governor Boggs, and under the sanction of law, an organized banditti ranged through the country, robbed us of our cattle, sheep, hogs, etc., many of our people were murdered in cold blood, the chastity of our women was violated, and we were forced to sign away our property at the point of the sword; and after enduring every indignity that could be heaped upon us by an inhuman, ungodly band of marauders, from twelve to fifteen thousand souls, men, women, and children, were driven from their own firesides, and from lands to which they had warranty deeds, houseless, friendless, and homeless (in the depths of winter) to wander as exiles on the earth, or to seek an asylum in a more genial clime, and among a less barbarous people. Many sickened and died in consequence of the cold and hardships they had to endure...It would take more time than is allotted me here to describe the injustice, the wrongs, the murders, the bloodshed, the theft, misery and woe that have been caused by the barbarous inhuman, and lawless proceedings of the state of Missouri.
Ticks you off, right? But that's not my point. My point is what Brother Joseph writes at the end of the letter:
Persecution has not stopped the progress of truth, but has only added fuel to the flame, it has spread with increasing rapidity. Proud of the cause which they have espoused, and conscious of our innocence, and of the truth of their system, amidst calumny and reproach...
Here's my favorite part, (all you RMs, feel free to join in):
...the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.
Makes me wanna stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance.
No matter what was done to the saints, they were still like, "UH! Take that! You just wasted all your time tarring, feathering, stealing and murdering. Cuz the church is still gonna be around and strong long after you're all dead!" (I took some literary liberties there.)
Sometimes, I still can't believe that this kind of persecution was done in America. Even more that it was because of religion. RELIGION! All that is good and right with the world. The very reason people wanted a new country to begin with! And yet.
The church is true. Why else would Satan have worked so hard to wipe it out. Ahh, fool that he is.
Everyday, I'm grateful for those early saints that stuck it out and kept going. It's because of them, that I get to be a member of something that IS the most awesome.