Monday, March 9, 2009

joseph smith, prophet



The other night for family scripture study, we read the chapter in the kids' Doctrine & Covenant's reader in which the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred. As I was reading out loud, I found myself suddenly struggling to get through it without weeping. Finally, I just let myself go with it and continued to read while sobbing quietly.

I'm not sure why this hit me so hard, other than the Spirit was so strong as we read this historical account of the ultimate sacrifice for one's God and religion.




Joseph Smith was only 14 years old in the early 1830s when he struggled to know which church was true. He had read in James 1:5 where it says "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God..." In all humbleness and sincerity, he did so--he prayed in exceeding faith and was granted a glorious vision from our Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ. Joseph was told that none of the churches on the earth were wholly true at that point, that the true church had been taken from the earth years ago during what is known as the Dark Ages.

Over time he was allowed to uncover and translate a history of the Book of Mormon people. As an adult he was guided to restore the true church complete with the power of the Priesthood--the authority to act in God's name. All the while, he was persecuted, mocked, tortured, beaten, and wrongfully imprisoned multiple times, all because he would not deny what he knew to be true. One of the wonderful testaments to its truthfulness is that the restored gospel and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was set up just as it was during Jesus' time, with a prophet and 12 apostles to lead and guide the church.




The Church grew and flourished despite the persecution. In June 1844, a mob of 100 men stormed the jail that Joseph, his brother, and two other innocent men were being held captive. The mob shot at the windows and ran past the guard and into the cell. Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed.

As the Doctrine & Covenants reader says: The Prophet Joseph Smith did much important work. God loved him. The Saints also loved him. Joseph Smith did more for our eternal salvation than anyone except Jesus Christ.

Our church is still led by a Prophet under God's authority, Thomas S. Monson and has over 13 million members world-wide. I am grateful for the 14 year old boy who offered an earnest prayer and was granted such a fabulous blessing. I am grateful for Joseph's undying testimony. I am grateful for his example and for all he did to help restore the Church to the earth.

I kinda can't wait to meet him in Heaven and give him a big ol' hug. =)

9 comments:

Roxanne said...

Since you posted about Joseph Smith, I thought you might be able to answer my question.

I am very unfamiliar with the LDS teachings. I have a smattering of knowledge about the "old days" but nothing about now. I have a question that I've always wondered about and thought you might be able to shed light on it for me!

Did Joseph Smith support the multiple wives teaching? Was that something that came about later on? When it was done away with for the statehood issue, was it considered a "doctrine of the church" or just a teaching that was OK to discontinue?

I love the header picture of your family and enjoy reading your blog very much!

Roxanne

Anonymous said...

Nice, way to go Amie! I too am very grateful for Joseph Smith's sacrifice. He was truly a prophet of God that pointed us towards Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the scriptures and having examples of men like this.

B

Amie said...

Hi Roxanne, Thanks for commenting. To briefly (!) answer your questions:

1) this is the Gospel according to Amie, or how I understand it. For more in depth responses, you may check out mormon.org or contact missionaries

2) yes, Joseph Smith supported the multiple wives practice, because he was counseled to by God. There were many reasons for this, including the fact that there were many more righteous women than men; many men had been killed leaving their families fatherless and husbandless; and the fact that we believe to get to the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, one must be married. However, the biggest reason for doing it was because the Lord asked him to. Sometimes we don't always understand why we are asked to do the things we do, but if you believe the church is true, and you believe the prophets are called of God, then it really doesn't matter what they ask, we as Saints are going to do it. =)

c) as I understand, it was only done away with because the laws of the time governed so. We have been taught that someday, perhaps in the next life, we will again return to the practices of polygamy, for all those reasons mentioned above.

No one likes the idea of having to share a spouse (wink) but why would it be fair that a woman be unable to reach her highest degree of glory simply because of a numbers issue. I believe that if and when we are asked to practice polygamy again, it will be a select few who understand and can handle it, and believe in the reasons behind it.

Again, gospel according to Amie. Thanks for asking. =)

Roxanne said...

Thanks for answering! I figured you would have an unbiased answer for it rather than my going to those who are not a part of the LDS church.

I think it's interesting that our government is all about separation of church and state (ha!) but has felt the need to make decisions to step in when it didn't agree with what the church leaders have heard directly about for their people.

Back to lurking and enjoying your blog!

Roxanne

April said...

Thanks for your Testimony, Amie! It's nice to get to know you through your blog (and crossfit)!

Lorie said...

I have a feeling there will be a long line for that hug! ;D

humblelabor said...

Hi!
Just found your blog through a comment on Roxanne's blog, The Haven of Home. I'm not a member of the LDS Church, but many of my ancestors were. I'd like to learn more about the history of the church. Thanks for the intro! I'm off to have a peek around your blog. :)

Amie said...

Humblelabor, thanks for your comment. You can check out more at www.mormon.org I'd be happy to answer any questions I can too!

Sherman Smithers said...

You can't go wrong believing in a Smith.