It’s incredible how the same item can change value depending on who had or handled it. For instance, my son’s basketball is not worth much. Why? Because only he has handled it and as of right now, he’s not famous. Now, this same basketball could increase in valve 100’s of times over just by Michael Jordan signing it. The same could be said for Wilford Woodruff. When he first came into the Church he had a sword. The sword was useful to him, but was it priceless? Most likely not. However, it became a prized possession after what happened to the sword?
a. Joseph Smith borrowed it for the Zion’s Camp trek
b. Joseph Smith used it while the commanding officer of the Nauvoo Legion
c. Porter Rockwell used it when he tried to kill Governor Lilburn W. Boggs
d. Hyrum Smith had it with him in Liberty Jail
a. His horse died on the way to Missouri
From the outset the Church had an unpopular public image that was added to by apostates and nurtured by the circulation of negative stories and articles in the press. People gave many reasons for apostatizing. For example, Norman Brown left the Church because his horse died on the trip to Zion. Joseph Wakefield withdrew after he saw Joseph Smith playing with children after coming down from his translating room.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church History In The Fulness Of Time (Salt Lake City: Published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1993), 113.