180 years ago today - Jun 23, 1844

They reach the Iowa side at daybreak. Joseph immediately writes Emma a note asking her to let him know her whereabouts. They send Rockwell back across the river. He finds Nauvoo full of confusion, with people unsure whether to defend or flee the city. A posse arrives to arrest Joseph, but they cannot find him. When the news that he has fled fills the town, many who had thought themselves in great danger now consider him a coward. (Gov. Ford later says that he thought Joseph had taken the best solution.) Dr. Bernhisel and Reynolds Cahoon cross the river to see Joseph. At 1 P.M. Emma sends Porter Rockwell back across the river to beg Joseph to return to Nauvoo. Reynolds Cahoon and others accuse Joseph of cowardice, holding that, inasmuch as Gov. Ford has promised him a fair trial, he has nothing to worry about. When Joseph hears that he is considered a coward, he says, "If my life is of no value to my friends it is of none to myself. . . . What shall I do?" Rockwellsays, "You are the
oldest and ought to know best; and as you make your bed, I will lie with you." Joseph asks Hyrum for advice. Hyrum says, "Let us go back and give ourselves up, and see the thing out." After a few moments, Joseph says, "If you go back I will go with you, but we shall be butchered." Hyrum says, "No, no; let us go back and put our trust in God, and we shall not be harmed. The Lord is in it. If we live or have to die, we will be reconciled to our fate." Joseph writes a letter to Ford stating that he will give himself up. They head back in the afternoon, but Joseph says, "It is of no use to hurry, for we are going back to be slaughtered." He desires to speak to his people one more time, and Rockwell offers to get them out by starlight, but when Joseph sees his family, he decides to spend the eveing with them.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

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