Smith and Rigdon fled to Missouri. It was there on November 1, 1838, that Smith surrendered to 2500 state troops and agreed to leave the state after forfeiting their property. Smith was court-martialed and was almost executed for treason, but his attorney – Alexander Doniphan – insisted that he was a civilian. This sent Smith to state court in which several of his former allies turned state’s evidence against him. Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and four others were charged with “overt acts of treason,” and awaited trial in the jail at Liberty, Missouri. They escaped jail by bribing the sheriff and fled the state to Illinois. In 1844 in Nauvoo, Illinois, he was arrested for burning the building of the Nauvoo Expositor and destroyed a printing press after an article was written about Smith’s polygamy. (Pangburn)
Joseph Smith’s arrests became a pattern for his behavior. His life was filled with illegal activity that can be accessed by searching public records. The belief to honor and sustain the law obviously did not have any effect on him or several of his accomplices. Eventually Joseph and Hyrum Smith faced trial for treason against the state of Illinois, which was punishable by death in the United States at that time. They found themselves in a jail in Carthage, where they would never live long enough to see the court. A mob of 200 stormed the jail and killed both of them.
The Mormon Church is careful to edit the history of their founder. They paint him as a faithful servant of God, claiming he was martyred for his daunting work to restore Christ’s church and faced immeasurable opposition. But a sincere and honest analysis of historical evidence will prove otherwise. Those who come across the truth are faced with the decision to either accept it and act upon it, or willfully overlook it.