As he was going to leap out, a shot from inside the jail struck him in the left thigh. For a moment he lay helpless on the window sill and would have fallen out, but a shot from outside the jail struck the watch in his breast pocket, sending him back into the room. In this condition, Elder Taylor tried to crawl under a bed in the room.
DIVINE & HUMAN WISDOM
As he did he was shot three more times. One ball entered a little below his left knee, never to be extracted. Another lodged in the palm of his left hand. A third ball struck the fleshy part of his left hip and tore away several inches of flesh. Though badly wounded and in a great deal of pain, Elder Taylor survived the attack and was later taken home to Nauvoo by several of the Saints.
President Taylor taught that in spite of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph, the Church would continue to grow. Within moments after Elder Taylor was shot, the Prophet Joseph also attempted to leap from the jail window but was immediately shot and fell to the ground outside. Doctrine and Covenants section contains an account of the Martyrdom written by Elder Taylor. As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Taylor dedicated his time and talents to proclaiming and defending the gospel. Using his gift for writing, he served as the editor for the Times and Seasons, the Wasp, and the Nauvoo Neighbor, all Nauvoo periodicals.
Later, while presiding over the Church in the eastern United States, he edited and published The Mormon, a weekly New York—based paper that presented the doctrines of the Church. In addition to proclaiming the gospel through the written word, Elder Taylor served four full-time missions: two in Great Britain, one in France and Germany, and one in New York.
In all, his full-time missionary service totaled over seven years.
Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us
I go to unlock the door of life to a mighty nation, to publish to millions the principles of life, light and truth, intelligence and salvation, to burst their fetters, liberate the oppressed, reclaim the wandering, correct their views, improve their morals, save them from degradation, ruin and misery, and lead them to light, life, truth and celestial glory. Do not your spirits co-operate with mine?
I know they do. Even with the substantial time commitment required by his Church service, John Taylor was an attentive and loving husband and father. He cherished the time he could spend with his family and frequently took advantage of opportunities to both enjoy their company and to teach them. As a result, he was dearly loved by his family.
In his interaction with his children, John Taylor exemplified warmth, kindness, and good humor. His son Ezra Oakley Taylor recalled the following experience:.
All of us were expected to be there, and at a later time be able to report as to who gave the sermon, what it was about, who gave the prayers, and what hymns were sung. This particular Sunday, some of us decided to skip just this once and to get one of our friends to give us the necessary information. Then came the [family] council and sure enough Father asked me about the sermon, and who gave it. As an Apostle, and later as President of the Church, President Taylor consistently exhorted the Saints to love and strengthen their families.
During the years President Taylor led the Church as President of the Quorum of the Twelve and then as President of the Church, he continued to serve with energy and devotion in his efforts to edify the Saints. One of his most significant labors as President involved setting in order the quorums of the priesthood and exhorting them to fulfill their duties. He instructed bishops to hold weekly priesthood meetings in their wards and counseled stake presidents to hold monthly stake priesthood meetings.
Elder B. In a revelation given through President Taylor in October , the Lord instructed the Saints, particularly the brethren of the priesthood, to organize themselves and walk in holiness before Him.
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The following paragraphs are excerpts from that revelation:. And I will bless and be with you, saith the Lord, and ye shall gather together in your holy places wherein ye assemble to call upon me, and ye shall ask for such things as are right, and I will hear your prayers, and my Spirit and power shall be with you, and my blessing shall rest upon you, upon your families, your dwellings and your households, upon your flocks and herds and fields, your orchards and vineyards, and upon all that pertains to you; and you shall be my people and I will be your God. Whenever possible, he attended these conferences.
If he could not, he sent a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Referring to this practice, Elder B. The result was a great spiritual awakening among the Saints. President Taylor also continued to emphasize the importance of missionary work, and the number of elders sent to proclaim the gospel increased. In his many discourses, President Taylor continually exhorted the Saints to tend to their duties in all aspects of their lives, whether as family members, Church members, neighbors, or citizens.
He taught the Saints that if they would be obedient and put their trust in the Lord, they would have nothing to fear. At a time when Latter-day Saints formed an overwhelming majority in Utah, President Taylor repeatedly preached freedom of religion and liberty of conscience for all. They have a right to think as they please; and so have we. Therefore, if a man does not believe as I do, that is none of my business. And if I do not believe as he does, that is none of his business. Would you protect a man that did not believe as you do? He should have equal justice with me; and then I would expect to be protected in my rights.
To President Taylor, the importance of liberty applied within the Church as well. In councils, he always encouraged members to speak their minds freely.
Though he understood fully the importance of unity, he felt that true unity was achieved through freedom. Circumstances for the Saints in the United States proved to be a challenge to this love of freedom. Under the direction of the Lord, the Saints had practiced plural marriage in the Church since the days of Joseph Smith in Nauvoo.
During the s and s, the United States government passed legislation outlawing plural marriage and denying statehood and other rights to the Utah Territory and its citizens. Convinced that the legislation was a violation of the freedom of religion spoken of in the Constitution, the Church used its influence to have the issue brought before the United States Supreme Court. The legislation was designed to take away basic civil rights of Church members, including the right to vote. These developments opened legal channels for the prosecution of Latter-day Saints who were practicing plural marriage.
What is prayer, but faith speaking to God? Simply because they had faith. What is Christian diligence, but faith at work? What is Christian boldness, but faith honestly doing its duty?
Cutting Ties- Knowing When It's Time To Walk Away
Nothing but a living realizing spirit of faith. What is holiness, but faith visible and faith incarnate? If you would be like Moses, making it clear as noonday that you have chosen God before the world, what does Christ ask of you? Would you bring forth an abundance of fruit? Do you want to be eminently holy and useful? This is my desire! Let your root be right, and your fruit will soon abound. Your spiritual prosperity will always be according to your faith. He that believes shall not only be saved, but shall never thirst, shall overcome, shall be established, shall walk firmly on the waters of this world and shall do great works.
Reader, if you believe the things contained in this message and desire to be a thoroughly holy man, begin to act on your belief.
Related CHAPTER THREE: God’s Instructions From Walk The Talk Ministries
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