A Model of Obedience and Courage by President Thomas S. Monson, Prophet of the Church

President Thomas S Monson MormonWhen but 14 years of age, this courageous young man [Joseph Smith] entered a grove of trees, which later would be called sacred, and received an answer to his sincere prayer.  There followed for Joseph unrelenting persecution as he related to others the account of the glorious vision he received in that grove.  Although he was ridiculed and scorned, he stood firm.  Said he, ‘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’ (Joseph Smith-History 1:25).  Step by step, facing opposition at nearly every turn and yet always guided by the hand of the Lord, Joseph organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He proved courageous in all that he did. Toward the end of his life, as he was led away with his brother Hyrum to Carthage Jail, he bravely faced what he undoubtedly knew lay ahead for him, and he sealed his testimony with his blood.  As we face life’s tests, may we ever emulate that undaunted courage epitomized by the Prophet Joseph Smith (”They Marked the Path to Follow,” Ensign, Oct. 2007, 7-8).

Gratitude and Love by President Henry B. Eyring, 1st Counselor in the First Presidency

The Prophet Joseph Smith is an example and a teacher of enduring well in faith.  I do not worship him, but I thank and love him as the Lord’s prophet of the Restoration.  He has helped me pray with the intent to obey.  I am better able to feast in the word and the love of God. Because of him I feel the Holy Ghost more often in the moments when I try to build the faith of a person in the Lord’s kingdom.  And because of what I know of the Prophet Joseph and the scriptures which were revealed through him, I more often feel the love of god for His children and of His for me when I reach down to lift someone up (”An Enduring Testimony of the Mission of the Prophet Joseph,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 92).

An Example of Seeking and Receiving by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency

The young Prophet Joseph Smith…was a teenager when he studied the scriptures.  During this time a multitude of unanswered questions arose.  He wondered, he pondered, he asked, and he received answers.  Build your testimony the same way: Study the scriptures, increase your knowledge of the gospel, search for answers in the scriptures.  If you have doubts or fears, invest the time and energy to find the answers in the scriptures and in the written words of our prophets.  Contemplate, meditate, ponder, and pray.  Go to our Heavenly Father in prayer; communicate with Him daily.  Draw close to Him, and He will draw close to you.  Ask about your studies of the scriptures, about your feelings and your questions, and He will answer.  He is waiting, He is real, and He is there.  Use the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Believe in the power of prayer.  It takes effort and time.  Be patient; it is worth it.  You can do it.  You are not alone in this; others went through this before (”Making Choices for Eternity,” Ensign, Oct. 2002, 28-29).

A Walk with the Prophet Joseph Smith by Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

At times in my life, during some deliberate and all too brief monents of reverie, study, and research, I have walked with the Prophet Joseph Smith–starting with him in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, thence on to Palmyra, to Kirtland, to Far West, later to Liberty, and ultimately from Nauvoo to Carthage.  It was thrilling to journey through the pages of early Church history, the remarkably well-documented biography of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  I commend this practice to all who esteem and honor this great man and prophet.  In this way we can see him in moments of despair, but also in moments of exaltation. We can stand with him in an hour of triumph and yet see him weeping when he was bereft of loved ones, or in times of deep sorrow when friends turned from him–even his brethren, his close counselors.  We can catch moments when he was jumping, or wrestling, or pulling sticks in good-natured fun; or join him where, as the master of an elegant home, he was sought out by the great of the world; or see him in a general’s uniform as a public figure, even a presidential candidate.  Looking a little deeper into his countenance and his activities, we can see him, for instance, step forth in steadfastness to rebuke and correct, and at times see him humbled and corrected by the Almighty in the work he was assigned to do (Things of the Soul [1996], 34-35).

Trust in the Lord by Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The Lord needed a strong, vigorous young man who would be teachable.  He needed someone he could mold into the leader who could bring forth the restoration of the gospel.  The one foreordained for this great assignment was Joseph Smith.  Out of weak things of the earth, the Lord created one with power and strength.  Few prophets have come from more humble beginnings than those of the Prophet Joseph Smith…Joseph Smith developed a great reliance on the Lord, trusting in him and gaining exceptional spiritual strength so he could use the gifts the Lord would give to him to organize the Church (”By the Hands of His Prophets,” Ensign, Aug. 1998, 50, 51).

The Reality of God’s Love by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, literally appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith in April 1820.  While this may be relatively unknown in the annals of history, yet it constituted an epochal event in the history of humanity–a profound demonstration of the love of God for all of His children (”Combatting Spiritual Drift–Our Global Pandemic,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 104).

A Reliance on Spiritual Gifts by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Overarching the Prophet Joseph’s entire ministry was his comparative youth, his superficial formal education, and his incredibly rapid acquisition of knowledge and maturity. …The Prophet Joseph had no role models from whom he could learn how to be a prophet and leader of the Lord’s people.  He learned from heavenly messengers and from the harvest of his unique spiritual gifts.  He had to rely on associates who had no role models either.  They struggled and learned together, and the Prophet’s growth was extremely rapid (”Joseph, the Man and the Prophet,” Ensign, May, 1996, 71, 72).

Peace and Happiness in this Life by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Those who have an unwavering testimony that Joseph Smith is a prophet of the living God know that he, in fact, received revelation from God.  They know that those revelations contain all the instruction necessary for us to find peace and happiness in this life (”What Came from Kirtland,” BYU Devotionals & Fireside Speeches, 1995, 50).

Never Giving Up by the late Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Apostle

The answer to [Joseph’s] prayer filled him with light and direction.  Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son appeared to him.  Their direction swept away the thick darkness that had seized him and threatened to destroy him.  It forever swept away his confusion.  From that moment until his martyrdom nearly a quarter of a century later, Joseph Smith committed himself to the path shown him by the Father and the Son.  Consider how painful his days were.  Consider the suffering and the persecution he had to endure.  Yet he continued, step by step, never giving up, never doubting that if he only did what he could, his Heavenly Father would make up the rest (”One Step after Another,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 27).

A Book of Truths by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Try reading the Book of Mormon….Discover for yourself that it is true.  As you read each page ask, ‘could any man have written this book or did it come as Joseph Smith testified’?  Apply the teachings you learn.  They will fortify you against the evil of Satan.  Follow Moroni’s counsel.  Sincerely ask God the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, with real intent, if the teachings of the Book of Mormon are true (see Moroni 10:3-5).  Ask with a desire to receive a confirmation personally, nothing doubting.  There has to be an explanation of that book you can hold in your hand.  I know that you can receive a spiritual confirmation that it is true.  You will then know that Jesus Christ lives, that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church…You will confirm that the Savior guides His Church through a living prophet.  These truths will become a foundation for your productive life (”Realize Your Full Potential,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 42, 43)l.

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