“Although the Church began its first decade with only six members, ‘unhallowed hands’ made every effort to stop the spread of the gospel and destroy the Church in its infancy.

The Tarring and Feathering of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith soon learned how mobs may combine. From Church history we read:”

‘Certain residents of Hiram, Ohio, vented their personal feelings with mob action directed against the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon. Stimulated by whiskey and hidden behind blackened faces, a gang of more than two dozen men dragged Joseph from his bed during the night of March 24, 1832. Choking him into submission, they stripped him naked, scratched his skin with their fingernails, tore his hair, then smeared his body with tar and feathers. A vial of nitric acid forced against his teeth splashed on his face; a front tooth was broken. Meanwhile other members of the mob dragged Rigdon by the heels from his home, bumping his head on the frozen ground, which left him delirious for days.

The Prophet’s friends spent the night removing the tar to help him keep a Sunday morning preaching appointment. He addressed a congregation that included Simonds Ryder, organizer of the mob’ (James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992, p. 81).”

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