Modern Prophets Speak, Volume I, No. 38, Joseph Smith
The power of the Gospel will enable us to stand and bear with patience the great affliction that is falling upon us on all sides. … The harder the persecution the greater the gifts of God upon his church. Yea, all things shall work together for good to them who are willing to lay down their lives for Christ’s sake. 1
On December 5, 1833, the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote to Church leaders presiding over the Saints who were being persecuted in Missouri: “Remember not to murmur at the dealings of God with His creatures. You are not as yet brought into as trying circumstances as were the ancient Prophets and Apostles. Call to mind a Daniel, the three Hebrew children [Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego], Jeremiah, Paul, Stephen, and many others, too numerous to mention, who were stoned, sawn asunder, tempted, slain with the sword, and [who] wandered about in sheep skins and goat skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented, of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and in mountains, and hid in dens and caves of the earth; yet they all obtained a good report through faith [see Hebrews 11:37–39]; and amidst all their afflictions they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to receive persecutions for Christ’s sake.
“We know not what we shall be called to pass through before Zion is delivered and established; therefore, we have great need to live near to God, and always to be in strict obedience to all His commandments, that we may have a conscience void of offense toward God and man. …
“… Our trust is in God, and we are determined, His grace assisting us, to maintain the cause and hold out faithful unto the end, that we may be crowned with crowns of celestial glory, and enter into the rest that is prepared for the children of God.” 2
Joseph Smith Jr., First President and Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1830-1844)
1. Letter from Joseph Smith to William W. Phelps and others, Aug. 18, 1833, Kirtland, Ohio; Joseph Smith, Collection, Church Archives
2. History of the Church, 1:450; from a letter from Joseph Smith to Edward Partridge and others, Dec. 5, 1833, Kirtland, Ohio.