“Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only , for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.” D&C 135:3
Unbeknownst to some, the celebration of Joseph Smith’s birthday is a very important part of the Christmas festivities. At least it is at my house. So as long as we’re celebrating Christ’s birth, and thinking about His life and all He did for us, I think it’s fitting that we can also celebrate the prophet Joseph’s birth, and think about his life and all he did for us. I am so grateful to both of them!
But in special honor of Joseph Smith, I’d like to say a few words.
First of all, what a man! (Insert any other word of choice there that might be fitting.) I mean, he restored the gospel! And he was spiritually aware enough at the age of 14 (WOW!) to pray to God with enough faith to see Him in person. I really love verse 20 in Joseph Smith History. He says, “It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom.” Yeah he was! It makes me hope that I can be a disturber and annoyer as well.
On a side note, let me also say that Joseph was super athletic. Like, he was a champion wrestler and stick-puller. He was also super sweet to his mom and sisters and wife, and I gather that he really cared about everyone. A lot. I can’t imagine a man of greater faith! Oh, and he was a martyr for the kingdom. And something makes me think that he was musical. And he endured serious health problems– without any painkillers or anything. And I bet he had a great sense of humor. So yeah.
Now back to business. Joseph says, “For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it.” I do too. I know for myself that Heavenly Father and Jesus did appear to that 14 year old boy, and the message they gave to him is the true and living gospel.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Book of Mormon that he translated is true. I have read it many times, prayed about it, and felt the Spirit manifest to me of its truthfulness. Christ did appear to the Nephites, and he did appear to Joseph Smith. His teachings when He was on the earth are the same ones we have now, and He continues to speak to us through President Monson, just as He spoke to Joseph Smith after the reorganization of the Church. I know the restored priesthood is God’s power on earth. My testimony of this was strengthened enormously during my recovery this summer. Heavenly Father called Joseph by name when He first appeared to him, and He knows and loves each of us!
Because of my testimony of the First Vision and the restored gospel, I can’t wait to be called to share this message to as many people as I can. I know there are those yearning for the peace and joy this perfect gospel brings, and I can only imagine the wonderful blessing it will be for me to bring that happiness that I have. I know the gospel is true! And in 2 years and 1 month, I will set out to share it wherever I am called. In the meantime, I’m going to try to be an example of the believers and share my testimony as often and in as many ways as I can.
I know Joseph Smith was a prophet, and I am so grateful to him and all he did for me and the rest of the world.