Mark H. Taylor, Editor. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 2017. Witness to the Martyrdom: John Taylor’s Personal Account of the Last Days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 2nd Edition. Hardbound, 5.5×8″, 176 pages.
On June 27, 1844, John Taylor, who was in Carthage Jail along with Joseph and Hyrum Smith and Willard Richards, courageously sought to defend his beloved leader against a murderous mob. In the barrage of bullets that killed Joseph and Hyrum, John Taylor was severely wounded. He recovered his health, however, and some time later he put into writing his recollections of the Prophet’s final days on earth. John Taylor’s detailed first-person account of the Martyrdom is a witness to the goodness and deep faith of the leading Brethren of the restored Church.
Witness to the Martyrdom includes John Taylor’s written account in its entirety. In addition, it helps readers place his testimony into perspective with
- A summary of early events in John Taylor’s life.
- A discussion of the events immediately following the Martyrdom.
- A brief outline of John Taylor’s life, including his service as third president of the Church.
As B.H. Roberts stated, Elder Taylor’s record of these events is “of highest historical value” and “deserves to live forever.” Endowed with the authenticity that only a first-person account can give, this book is an essential addition to the LDS bookshelf.