June 27, 1844
The Gospel preached by Joseph Smith is the same that is contained in the New Testament, and which was preached by Jesus Christ and his Apostles, and it is the power of God to every one that believes it; it will heal the sick, open the heavens, and revolutionize the earth; and this Gospel must be preached to all nations for a witness to them. I bear testimony to all men that Joseph Smith preached it in its purity and fulness, as the Apostles of old preached it; and that it is now being preached in the United States, in Europe, in the Islands of the sea, and will be preached in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people under the whole heavens; and the same fruits, the same blessings, the same light and glory will be manifested as anciently (JD 2:225-226).Brigham Young
You may say Joseph was a devil, if you like, but he is at home, and still holds the keys of the kingdom, which were committed to him by heavenly messengers, and always will… Who else ever said that Joseph Smith was anything but an unlearned son of a backwoodsman; who had all his lifetime, ever since he could handle an ax, helped his father to support his little family by cutting wood? Thus the Lord found him, and called him to be a Prophet, and made him a successful instrument in laying the foundation of His kingdom for the last time. This people never professed that Joseph Smith was anything more than a Prophet given to them of the Lord; and to whom the Lord gave the keys of this last dispensation, which were not to be taken from him in time, neither will they be in eternity (JD 2:126-127).Heber C. Kimball:
The ungodly killed Joseph and Hyrum, but in so doing they furthered the work of God more than tenfold. Joseph laid the foundation, and left us to build the building, and when we are gone we will leave others, for it must be done. (JD 2:357)Brigham Young:
Do you think we shall all die in Utah? If so, why have we not died ere this, when we dwelt in the midst of a people that cherished hostile feelings against the Latter-day Saints? Who delivered Joseph Smith from the hands of his enemies to the day of his death? It was God; though he was brought to the brink of death time and time again, and, to all human appearance; could not be delivered, and there was no probability of his being saved. When he was in jail in Missouri, and no person expected that he would ever escape from their hands, I had the faith of Abraham, and told the brethren, "As the Lord God liveth, he shall come out of their hands." Though he had prophesied that he would not live to be forty years of age, yet we all cherished hopes that that would be a false prophecy, and we should keep him for ever with us; we thought our faith would outreach it, but we here mistaken-he at last fell a martyr to his religion. I said, "It is alright; now the testimony is in full force; he has sealed it with his blood, and that makes it valid" (JD 1:364).Wilford Woodruff:
Those who have been acquainted with the Prophet Joseph, who laid the foundation of this Church and kingdom, who was an instrument in the hand of God in bringing to light the Gospel in this last dispensation, know well that every feeling of his soul, every sentiment of his mind, and every act of his life, proved that he was determined to maintain the principle of truth, even to the sacrificing of his life. His soul swelled wide as eternity for the welfare of the human family. He began entirely alone, as far as the influences of the children of men were concerned upon the earth, to endeavor to establish a religion and order of things diverse from anything then existing among men, a religion that was unpopular and contrary to the feelings, and views, and traditions of the whole human family (JD 2:192).Brigham Young:
To Saint and sinner, believer and unbeliever, I wish here to offer one word of advice and counsel, by revealing the mystery that abides with this people called Latter-day Saints; it is the Spirit of the living God that leads them; it is the Spirit of the Almighty that binds them together; It is the influence of the Holy Ghost that makes them love each other like little children; it is the spirit of Jesus Christ that makes them willing to lay down their lives for the cause of Truth; and it was that same Spirit that caused Joseph our martyred Prophet to lay down his life for the testimony of what the Lord revealed to him. This mystery, the great mystery of "Mormonism," is, that the Spirit of the Lord binds the hearts of the people together (JD 1:145).