Joseph Smith, A Prophet

In the spring of 1820, a young boy named Joseph Smith wanted to know which church he should join. He had been attending several different churches and comparing their teachings and they often contradicted each other. As he searched the Bible for help, he read that he should ask God. (James 1:5) Acting on this counsel, Joseph went into the woods near his home and prayed. Suddenly, a light shone above him and two heavenly beings, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. They called him by his name, and spoke to him. When Joseph asked them which church he should join, Jesus told him to join none of the churches then in existence because they were teaching incorrect doctrines and lacked the proper authority. Although Joseph Smith was persecuted, tortured, unjustly imprisoned and had to watch those he loved suffer terrible things for the rest of his life, he never denied or recanted this experience. In his own words he stated:

Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.” Joseph Smith History

As Joseph Smith proved his worthiness, he was given a divine mission as a prophet of God. Through him, the Lord accomplished a great and marvelous work that included bringing forth the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, restoring the priesthood, revealing precious gospel truths, reestablishing the true Church of Jesus Christ, and establishing temple work.

On June 27, 1844, Joseph and his brother Hyrum were killed in an attack by an armed mob. They sealed their testimonies with their own blood.

I personally believe that Joseph Smith was a good and honest man. He saw what he said he saw, and he followed the words and direction of Jesus Christ all of his life as a true prophet of God on earth. Because of Joseph Smith, the full truth is once more restored. It is my greatest wish that each person on earth hear about this marvelous event, and learn more about the important message members of my church are eagerly sharing. Then you may do just what Joseph did on that beautiful spring morning – ask God if this is true. I know God lives, He loves us, and He answers our prayers.

Musical Arrangement by Michael R. Hicks, Sung by John McVey


  1. I think part of the strength of Joseph’s Smith story is that it is so very incredible. On the face, it sounds almost preposterous. Have you ever known a 14-year-old boy? And that’s who you say went into a grove one spring morning and SAW GOD and spoke with Him? Then an angel gave him a golden book just long enough to translate it and then took them back? Than God entrusted him with His own power, when he was yet a very young man?

    Yes, that’s exactly what we say. And the indisputable premise is, either it is true, or it is not. Nobody can argue with that. If it were not true, then it would be astounding that we have managed to convince some 13 million people to buy into it.

    But what if it is true? Wouldn’t it be a precious bit of knowledge to have if it is true? Wouldn’t it be knowledge more valuable than all the goods of the earth?

    It is true. Joseph really did see a pillar of light in the woods of Palmyra, New York. God the Father and God the Son really did stand in the midst of that light, and instruct him not to join any of the extant churches, and instead to await further instructions. Moroni really did deliver plates of gold to him, and he really did translate them into the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon really is an ancient American witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ that endorses and strengthens the witness of the Bible. And the only reason we ask anyone to believe any of these extraordinary tales is because they simply are true. And we cannot and will not try to convince you of their truth ourselves. The truths will speak for themselves if you will just open your heart enough to hear them, and then be humble enough to simply ask God—the source of all truth—if they are true. Then just go with whatever He tells you.

    The testimony of millions of [Latter-day] Saints, living and dead, is that He told us that these things are true when we asked. He told me when I was very young. And I have never been able to deny it since, even when mortal experiences have tried and battered my faith.

    Thank you for being bold enough to post this without apology and without equivocation. I have seen that you take your calling as a missionary very seriously. (p.s., I hope I don’t come across as always trying to hijack your blog with my frequent and over-long posts. Just blame my legal training).


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