Single of the Month | "Culprit"
Culprit by Loyal Wife (GET RIGHT single #5)
My 5th single, Culprit will be released June 27th, 173 years from the day Joseph Smith was murdered in cold blood.
Joseph Smith was being held for treason after twice being tried (and found innocent for) the burning of a paper press, The Expositor.
On June 7, 1844, the first and only crude issue of the Nauvoo Expositor appeared. It incited violence against Mormon men, women and children while calling for the murder of Joseph Smith, stating “(Joseph Smith) is the biggest villain that goes unhung."
As mayor of Nauvoo, Joseph Smith summoned the city council. Following fourteen hours of deliberation in three different sessions, the council resolved on Monday, June 10, about 6:30 p.m., that the newspaper and its printing office were "a public nuisance" and instructed the mayor "to remove it…without delay." The city marshal destroyed the press and burn all copies of the paper.
Joseph Smith was tried on two separate occasions for this charge. Being found innocent both times, Governor Thomas Ford ordered Joseph be confined to Carthage Jail in Illinois to await a third trial.
Preceding this false imprisonment of Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum and two other leaders of the LDS church, an “Extermination Order” was issued by Lilburn Boggs, governor of Missouri. (Interestingly, Missouri Order 44 was not officially removed from law until 1973.) Lilburn's order read: “…Hasten your operation with all possible speed. The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace.”
Threats of mob violence increased. In Warsaw and Carthage, newspapers called for the extermination of Mormons. On June 18, Joseph Smith mobilized his troops to protect Nauvoo. Illinois Governor Thomas Ford ordered the Church leaders to stand trial again on the same charges, this time in Carthage, Joseph and Hyrum first considered appealing to U.S. President John Tyler, but then decided instead to cross the Mississippi and escape to the West.
Pressured by family and friends who felt abandoned and who believed Joseph to be nearly invincible, he agreed to return and surrender; but he prophesied that he would be going "like a lamb to the slaughter" and would be "murdered in cold blood" (HC 6:555, 559). Joseph urged Hyrum to save himself and succeed him as prophet, but Hyrum refused and accompanied his brother to Carthage.
Such a climate lead to a mob of nearly 200 to push through the “Carthage Greys” (simply a promontory militia, simply there for show) and break into Carthage jail where they murdered Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum, and put 5 bullets in their friend, John Taylor (who later became the 3rd president of the LDS church, after Brigham Young.)
*It’s simple to understand why the Mormon pioneers risked/gave their lives and escaped to unsettled territory in Mexico, later called Deseret before it entered the union as the state of Utah on Jan 4, 1896. (Note: This was after the Mormon Militia assisted US military efforts upon request, even after US agents set up camp (in Mexico) to keep a watchful eye on the Mormons — This intimidating act caused LDS members to bury the Salt Lake Temple for a time.)
Here is the animatic video I wrote for the song. It was animated by Evan Normand.
This story and the life of Joseph Smith means everything to me and to my family, starting nearly 200 years ago in Demark with early LDS missionary Jacob Jensen (my great, great grandfather pictured below). There is no knowledge more important in my life that Joseph Smith restored the true church of Jesus Christ.
The music and the story can be mutually exclusive. I don't wish to pressure anyone into my beliefs. I do hope you will consider the importance that this has to me and if you choose to ignore this single, #6 (Titled "About This Town") is only a couple weeks away!
P.S. Kickstarter rewards delayed but coming oh so soon... I got these in...