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Friday, March 18, 2011

Who is Joseph Smith?

Many people hear about the Prophet Joseph Smith but do they hear and know the truth about him. Well at the age of 14 years old in the spring of 1820 in upstate New York Joseph Smith was really worried about his salvation and how can he know if he was saved. 
Joseph Smith wrote, “So great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was [ … ] to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong [ … ] In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?”(Joseph Smith-History 1:8, 10). Joseph turned to the Bible for guidance. He read,

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).
This verse deeply impressed him. He decided to pray about what he should do, with simple faith that God would hear and answer him. 

In response to a humble prayer, God called Joseph to re-establish the Church of Jesus Christ.
In the spring of 1820, Joseph went to a grove of trees near his home and knelt in prayer. He described his experience: “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me [ … ] When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other-This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith History 1:16-17). Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I know that he truly did see them and they have bodies of flesh and bones. Bodies just like ours but glorified and immortal. His prayer was answered and the Restoration of the Gospel came forth. 
Joseph Smith gave his life for the cause of truth.
We sometimes think that dying for a cause is the purest display of devotion, but living for something is usually much more demanding. Joseph Smith did both. He wore out his life in God's service, suffering derision and violence for the things he believed. He did not die in public with the sympathy of the world; he was shot by a mob while he was locked in a jail on false charges.
He showed his devotion to God in life and in death. It was said of him, “he lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and . . . has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood” (Doctrine and Covenants 135:3).
The Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. Carthage Jail, Carthage, Illinois.
Joseph Smith Martyr
Some people mistakenly believe Mormons worship Joseph Smith. This is false; we worship God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Joseph was not a perfect person, nor a deity. He was a man of virtue who fulfilled an extraordinary calling.
He did God's work until the day his life was taken and we honor him for his faith, humility, and devotion. We are grateful for the Church he helped establish, the scripture he translated, the revelations he received and the things he taught that help us understand the ways of God.
The faithful way Joseph Smith did his work during his brief life inspires us to fulfill our own responsibilities, however large or small they may be.
Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God. He did this work and saw God. He did go forth proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a man of honor. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. He has Risen! He lives today! I bear you my witness in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. So many people think Mormons worship Joseph Smith and the answer it that they do not. Read this http://mormon.org/faq/worship-joseph-smith

    ReplyDelete