NAUVOO, Ill. On the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum June 27, members of the Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with visitors to Nauvoo met together to remember their common heritage.
Approximately 600 people attended services held at the Smith Family Burial Ground on Water Street in historic Nauvoo. The program was conducted by Christin Mackay, site coordinator for the Joseph Smith Historic Site. The opening prayer was offered by Neal C Lewis, Illinois Nauvoo Mission President. Larry Maguire, a Seventy in the Community of Christ spoke on "Joseph Smith A Man of Vision."
Anina Mackay-Luff, great-great-granddaughter of Emma and Joseph Smith Jr., and Estell Neff, a direct descendant of Lucy Mack and Joseph Smith Sr., placed wreaths at the grave sites of Joseph, Hyrum and Emma Smith. The Nauvoo Brass Band and Young Performing Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided period music for the occasion. The band played "gathering music" as the crowd convened. The missionaries sang "Great and Marvelous," a favorite hymn among members of the Community of Christ.
Later in the day a second service was held at the Carthage Jail, site of the martyrdom on June 27, 1844. Several hundred people gathered to hear David Warner, director of music and cultural arts for the Church. He described contributions the Prophet Joseph Smith has made that continue to bless those who participate in today's restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dallyn Bayles, the actor who will portray Joseph Smith in the 2006 Nauvoo Pageant, sang "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" and "Praise to the Man" to conclude the service.