It has recently been suggested that we should commemorate the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, rather than his birthday. I wonder how contemporary Latter-day Saints would respond to having an official holiday set aside to remember the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. In speaking to some of my friends and family about the idea, I’ve seen some resistance, in part I think to the contemporary fear of being perceived by outsiders as worshipping Joseph Smith. Parley P. Pratt, in his “One Hundred Years Hence. 1945.”, speculated that in the Millennium we will hold feast days to honor those that were slain for their testimonies of the truth.
Our curiosity excited us to inquire, what day they celebrated? To which the guide replied: “This is the Feast day of the Lord to JOSEPH AND HYRUM SMITH, for being martyred for the truth, held yearly on the 7th day of the fourth month, throughout all the tribes of Israel!”
Flesh and blood cannot comprehend the greatness of the scene; the worthy of the earth, with Adam at their head; the martyrs of the different dispensations, with Abel at their head; and honorable men from other worlds composed an assemblage of majesty, dignity, and ‘divinity,’ so much above the ‘little pageantry’ of man in his self-made greatness, that we almost forgot that mortals ever enjoyed anything more than misery, in all the pomp and circumstance of man’s power over man! This was a feast-day for truth! This was the reward of integrity!–This was the triumph of “kings and priests,” unto God, and was a holiday of eternity! Who could be happier than he that was among the holy throng? No one…
I have a hard time imagining this being implemented prior to the Millenium, although as a student of collective memory I would love it if we did.