Due to threats that the graves of Joseph and Hyrum would be desecrated, the boxes of sandbags were buried, after which the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum were secretly buried at midnight in the basement of the unfinished Nauvoo House. Then "a most terrific shower of rain, accompanied with thunder and lightning, occurred, and obliterated all traces of the fact that the earth had been newly dug" (History of the Church, 6:628). Later, the bodies were placed a short distance from the Homestead in an outbuilding. In 1928 the bodies were exhumed and placed in the small cemetery behind the Homestead.
After surviving Carthage Jail, John Taylor and Willard Richards wrote to the Saints abroad, informing them of recent events. Willard Richards was called to serve as a counselor to Brigham Young in the First Presidency. John Taylor became the third President of the Church following the death of Brigham Young. "Two better men than Joseph and Hyrum Smith never lived," John Taylor and Willard Richards wrote. "Two better men God never made. The memorial of their godly lives is embalmed, printed with indelible ink in the memory of every honest heart who knew their upright walk and conversation" (History of the Church, 7:174).