BOOK OF THE LAW OF THE LORD: The Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. wrote in the Book of the Law of the Lord, the names of Joseph Knight Sr., and his sons, Newel and Joseph Jr. on 22 January 1842. When referring to Joseph Sr., he wrote, "I find my feelings of the 16th inst. toward by friends revived while I comtemplate the virtues and the good qualities and charateristics of the faithful few, which I am now recording in the Book of the Law of the Lord—of such as have stood by me in every hour of peril for these fifteen long years past—say, for instance, my aged and beloved brother Joseph Knight Senior who was among the number of the first. Behold he is a righteous man...and it shall be said of him, by the sons of Zion, while there is one of them remaining, that this was a faithful man in Israel; therefore his name shall never be forgotten. There are his sons, Newel Knight and Joseph Knight, Jr., whose names I record in the Book of the Law of the Lord with unspeakable delight, for they are my friends." Therefore, a book (two editions) was produced to conform to Joseph Smith's wishes. The Prophet Joseph Smith said that the Knights were among his most loyal friends. This friendship covered the first eighteen years of the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Knight family played a key role in many of the first events of the new Church: they were members of the first branch at Colesville, New York; they participated in the first recorded miracle and the first marriage performed by priesthood authority; they were among the first persons to live the law of consecration; and among the first Mormons to settle in Missouri. Regarded historically as the "second family of the Restoration," the Knights followed the Prophet through the epic events of 1825 to 1844. and from Joseph Smith's early boyhood to his martydom. Later, they moved west with the Saints to the Salt Lake Valley.
In 1986, the first book publication, titled "They Are My Friends:
A History of the Joseph Knight Family, 1825-1850
was published and authored by LDS historian William
G. Hartley, with contributions from Darrell V. Knight
and James L.Kimball. This edition is now out of print.
A second book, "Stand
By My Servant Joseph" was
published in 2003 through a combined effort from
the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for LDS History
and Deseret Book. This 604-page edition contains
updated material and a broad peer group review from
selected LDS historians. Again, the book was authored
by William G. Hartley and received a special recognition
from The Mormon History Association for the "best
family or community history in the Mormon experience" for 2004.
The hardbook sold out in two editions and is currently
out of print. The paperback edition is still available.
Call Susan Oliver at 801-517-3315 at Deseret Book
for a special discount price to Knight descendants.
The two books have brought hundred of relatives together and contributed to the understanding of their legacy. The charge given to Bill Hartley was to write a historically accurate story of this family, in a novel format so that the younger generation would find it interesting and very readable. He fulfilled this charge well and produced a record that will remain in the libraries and achieves of families for many generations to come. During the writing he expressed the feelings he was passing over sacred ground (historically speaking) and became closely involved with the Knight family. We have symbolically "adopted" him as a member of our organization and are indebted to him for his contribution. A Certificate of Adoption hangs now in his office.