The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Joseph Smith

"There is so much we can learn from the example of the young Prophet Joseph Smith, whose persistent, prayerful study of the Holy Bible compelled him to seek the God of Heaven for divine guidance. This brought him to the threshold of the greatest revelation ever given to man since the mortal ministry of the Savior Himself. Throughout the Prophet’s life, he continued to probe and ponder until he gained a mastery of the scriptures." — J. Richard Clarke, "My Soul Delighteth in the Scriptures," Ensign, Nov. 1982, p. 13

"Men who knew Joseph best and stood closest to him in Church leadership loved and sustained him as a prophet. His brother Hyrum chose to die at his side. John Taylor, also with him when he was murdered, said: 'I testify before God, angels, and men, that he was a good, honorable, virtuous man... —that his private and public character was unimpeachable—and that he lived and died as a man of God' (The Gospel Kingdom, [1987], 355; see also D&C 135:3). Brigham Young declared: 'I do not think that a man lives on the earth that knew [Joseph Smith] any better than I did; and I am bold to say that, Jesus Christ excepted, no better man ever lived or does live upon this earth' (in Journal of Discourses, 9:332)." — Dallin H. Oaks, "Joseph, the Man and the Prophet," Ensign, May 1996, p. 73

"I bear testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the living God, one of the greatest prophets that has ever lived on the earth. He was the instrument in God’s hand in ushering in the present gospel dispensation, the greatest of all, and the last of all in preparation for the second coming of the Master." — Ezra Taft Benson, "Joseph Smith: Prophet to Our Generation," Ensign, Mar. 1994, p. 5

"Joseph Smith. The name evokes so many responses among mankind: nineteenth-century historical figure, religious reformer, founder of a faith, restorer, prophet, and seer of God who spent his life, and eventually sacrificed it, in being God’s witness and servant. Whether we view him through the eyes of the student of history or through the eyes of the believer, however, a true picture of Joseph Smith must include this vital dimension: he was a marvelous exemplar of Christlike living." — Don L. Searle, "A Disciple in Deed," Ensign, June 1994, p. 12

"Elder John Taylor, who was then with him, summed up his work in these words: '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.... He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people' (D&C 135:3)." — Gordon B. Hinckley, "What Hath God Wrought through His Servant Joseph!" Ensign, Jan. 1997, p. 4

"The Lord raised up Joseph Smith specially to do the work that he performed. He was ordained and appointed before he was born to come upon the stage of action in this age of God's mercy to man, through the loins of ancient Joseph, who was a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to lay the foundation of this great and glorious dispensation-a dispensation that will be marked and distinguished in the annals of human history for its grand and mighty, and also its serious and awful events." — Wilford Woodruff, "Journal of Discourses," 24:51, January 27, 1883

"If I were to voice what is in my heart it would seem egotistical to some, but I say to all men everywhere, examine the teachings of the gospel of our Lord as revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, search them prayerfully, and you shall find the panacea for the ills of this world, and it will be discovered in no other way." — George Albert Smith, "Conference Reports," October 1931, p. 121

"A word or two about Joseph Smith. Perhaps there are very few men now living who were so well acquainted with Joseph Smith the Prophet as I was. I was with him oftentimes. I visited with him in his family, sat at his table, associated with him under various circumstances, and had private interviews with him for counsel. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God; I know that he was an honorable man, a moral man, and that he had the respect of those who were acquainted with him. The Lord has shown me most clearly and completely that he was a prophet of God, and that he held the holy priesthood." — Lorenzo Snow, "Conference Report," 7 October 1900, p. 61

"Who was Joseph Smith? The Book of Mormon tells us he was of the seed of Joseph that was sold into Egypt, and hence he was selected as Abraham was to fulfill a work upon the earth. God chose this young man. He was ignorant of letters as the world has it, but the most profoundly learned and intelligent man that I ever met in my life, and I have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles, been on different continents and mingled among all classes and creeds of people, yet I have never met a man so intelligent as he was. And where did he get his intelligence from? Not from books, not from the logic or science or philosophy of the day, but he obtained it through the revelation of God made known to him through the medium of the everlasting gospel." — John Taylor, "Journal of Discourses," 21:163

"I have met hundreds of men who have said: 'If it were not for Joseph Smith I could accept your religion.' Any man who does not believe in Joseph Smith as a prophet of the true and the living God has no right to be in this Church. That revelation to Joseph Smith is the foundation stone. If Joseph Smith did not have that interview with God and Jesus Christ, the whole Mormon fabric is a failure and a fraud. It is not worth anything on earth. But God did come, God did introduce His Son; God did inspire that man to organize the Church of Jesus Christ, and all the opposition of the world is not able to withstand the truth. It is flourishing; it is growing, and it will grow more." — Heber J. Grant, "Era," 42:655

"The Book of Mormon tells us that when Lehi was in the desert, he told his son Joseph that the Lord had promised Joseph who was sold into Egypt that he would raise up a prophet in the latter days from his loins like unto Moses; that his name would be Joseph, his father's name would be Joseph, and that he should bring forth his word. (See 2 Ne. 3:6, 9, 15.) That obviously was the Prophet Joseph Smith. He brought us the Book of Mormon. He brought us the Doctrine and Covenants. He brought us the Pearl of Great Price and many other writings. Then the Lord said: '...unto him will I give power to bring forth my word... and not to the bringing forth my word only,... but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them.' (2 Ne. 3:11.) In other words, he would bring them to a true understanding of the Bible." - LeGrand Richards, "He Has Sent His Messenger to Prepare the Way," Ensign, July 1973, p. 78

"We know that it is not a popular thing to teach that a backwoods boy from Vermont, reared in New England and trained on the frontier, was a prophet. But, popular or not, it is a fact! Joseph Smith was a prophet, and all of the calumny and aspersion to the contrary cannot controvert that fact. Anyone who has concern for the welfare of his eternal soul should give attention to this message. Every man who has lived since the days of Joseph Smith is subject to accepting him as a prophet of God in order to enter into our Heavenly Father's presence." - A. Theodore Tuttle, "The Message of the Restoration," Ensign, June 1971, p. 70

"Because of the Prophet Joseph Smith, I understand more fully the magnitude of Christ's Atonement. Because of the Prophet Joseph, I better understand the significance of the Garden of Gethsemane-a place of great suffering as Christ assumed our personal suffering not only for our sins, but also for our pains, infirmities, trials, and tragedies. I understand the infinite and eternal nature of His great and last sacrifice. I better understand the love our Savior exemplified in His last redeeming act. Because of Joseph Smith, my love and gratitude for the Savior is magnified and my worship more meaningful. Among the many hymns in our hymnbook written by W. W. Phelps is the familiar song with the words 'Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!' ('Praise to the Man,' Hymns,  no. 27). My heart throbs as I sing that song." - Richard C. Edgley, "A Still, Small Voice and a Throbbing Heart," General Conference, April 2005

"All the forces of evil combined to fight the work the Lord started through Joseph Smith. Words such as persecution, apostasy, betrayal, treachery, expulsion, condemnation, opposition, extermination, and finally martyrdom fill our early histories. And yet the Prophet Joseph Smith's vision never flagged; he knew the work was God's work, and he knew that God would see it through. 'The Standard of Truth has been erected,' he said; 'no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done' (History of the Church, 4:540)." - Gerald N. Lund, "A Prophet for the Fulness of Times," Ensign, Jan. 1997, 54

"Yes, God does live. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate personal beings, alike in form, in whose image man is made. In order that these basic fundamental truths, lost to the world through centuries of erroneous teachings, might again be available to people of our day, a new revelation was necessary, and this was given to the fourteen-year-old Joseph Smith in the form of the most glorious vision ever given to mortal man, so far as the records indicate-a vision in which Father and Son appeared simultaneously-given to this uneducated, backwoods boy in order '...that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth' (D&C 124:1)-a youth who three and one-half years later was told by a messenger from heaven that his name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues. Yes, Joseph Smith was divinely called, a truth to which his works and the personal testimony of hundreds of thousands of his followers sincerely testify. And judged solely by his works-the measuring stick universally employed in determining greatness in men-Joseph Smith surely presents a challenge to every normal-minded adult human being interested in the good and happiness of himself and fellowmen, a challenge to give careful study and thorough investigation to his claims and teachings. Personally, I believe that even very many of our Mormon people are more or less careless and indifferent to the significance of the message Joseph Smith was called to deliver to the world." - Joseph F. Merrill, "Conference Report," October 1948, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p.59-60

"December 23, Joseph Smith's birthday, and December 25, the day we celebrate the Savior's birth, are two of the most consequential days of the year. The Christmas season is the happiest season of the year. It is indeed a season of mirth and gladness with everyone seemingly wanting to make someone happy. It is the spirit of losing self for others, of substituting giving for getting, of substituting selfishness for love." - Franklin D. Richards December 14, 1965, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1965, p.3

"I bear my testimony that I know that this is the work of God. I wish I could deliver it to every young man and every young woman, to every wayward man and wayward woman in the entire Church. I know it just as confidently, just as surely, as I know any other fact that has entered into my life. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the living God. All of my feelings, every sensation that I can interpret, bears witness of that truth to me. I know that it is the Holy Ghost that makes that knowledge certain. I know, too, that that knowledge will come to every honest man and woman and to every young man and woman who strives for it and who lives for it, but I want us all to help in every way that we can to bring that knowledge to the youth of our Church, and to all those who have fallen by the wayside. I am grateful for that knowledge. It brings into my life more comfort, more satisfaction, more hope, more that is worth striving for, then all else, and I am very desirous that I may live to be worthy of a continuation of that testimony, that it may grow and ripen and strengthen within me." - Stephen L Richards, "Conference Report," April 1927, p.156

"Today I stand in wonder at the marvelous things which God revealed to His appointed prophet while he was yet young and largely unknown. The very language of these revelations is beyond the capacity of even a man of great learning.

"Scholars not of our faith, who will not accept our singular doctrines, are puzzled by the great unrolling of this work, which is touching the hearts of people across the earth. We owe it all to Joseph the Prophet, the seer and the revelator, the Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, who was foreordained to come forth in this generation as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty in restoring to the earth that which the Savior taught when He walked the roads of Palestine.

"To you, this day, I affirm my witness of the calling of the Prophet Joseph, of his works, of the sealing of his testimony with his blood as a martyr to the eternal truth. Each of you can bear witness of the same thing. You and I are faced with the stark question of accepting the truth of the First Vision and that which followed it. On the question of its reality lies the very validity of this Church. If it is the truth, and I testify that it is, then the work in which we are engaged is the most important work on the earth." - Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain," General Conference, 7 October 2007

"The Prophet Joseph is an example and a teacher of enduring well in faith. I do not worship him, but I thank and love him as the Lords 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 Lords 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." - Henry B. Eyring, "An Enduring Testimony of the Mission of the Prophet Joseph," Ensign (CR), November 2003, p.89

“In many ways the gospel of Jesus Christ is like a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. When Joseph Smith came on the scene, perhaps 100 pieces were in place. Then Joseph Smith came along and put many of the other 900 pieces in place so that people could say, ‘Oh, now I understand where I came from, why I am here, and where I am going.’ As for Joseph Smith’s role in the Restoration, the Lord defined it clearly: ‘This generation shall have my word through you’ (D&C 5:10).” – Tad R. Callister, “Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration,” Ensign, November 2009

The results of a century and a half of this church offer great authentication to the truthfulness of Joseph Smith’s story. The work of this church moves forward in an astonishing way. The great body of the Latter-day Saints remain faithful to their testimonies of Joseph Smith and his work. Since Joseph’s day, millions have accepted by faith and have had confirmed by the Holy Spirit that Joseph’s account of seeing the Father and the Son is true and that he restored to earth the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. - James E. Faust, "The Expanding Inheritance from Joseph Smith," Ensign (CR) October 1981

When the Lord wants to change the world, he doesn’t send armies or use powerful groups.

When it was time to lead the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage, the Lord didn’t send an army; he sent a baby boy to a Levite home. This baby boy was later to be known as Moses, whom we know as the great lawgiver and the one who delivered the children of Israel from bondage.

In the meridian of time, the Father sent his own Son to be born of a virgin mother in a lowly manger. The whole world was affected by his brief life’s mission, and he still remains the only hope of mankind, here and hereafter.

When it was time to restore his gospel to prepare the world for the second coming of his Son, he again sent a baby boy to the home of a righteous father and mother. On 23 December 1805, a baby boy came to the home of Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith. - Rex C. Reeve, "Joseph Smith, the Chosen Instrument," Ensign (CR) October 1985

While commemorating the Redeemer's birth and hailing His anticipated coming and reign, we also rejoice in the birth of His servant and prophet the forerunner Joseph Smith, which occurred on December 23rd, 1805, to whom He appeared and upon whom He conferred authority to introduce the last dispensation and restore the fulness of His gospel with all its former doctrines, ordinances, gifts, priesthood, apostleship, orders, spirit and powers. This institution is set up. It is a living fact. It is making its way among men and nations. God is in it. Christ is its living, heavenly head, and at this Christmas time it is the chief cause of our jubilation. It is no mere dream or pleasant fancy but a veritable reality in which our lives and our labors are centered. - "Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 4:253

All men may well ask themselves where they stand with reference to Joseph Smith and his divine mission. Do they inquire after his name and seek that salvation found only in the gospel of Christ as revealed to his latter-day prophet, or do they deride and despise the Lord's living oracles and say that God no longer speaks to men in the way he did anciently? The great question which all men in our day must answer—and that at the peril of their own salvation—is: Was Joseph Smith called of God? - Bruce R. McConkie, "Joseph Smith-The Mighty Prophet of the Restoration," Ensign (CR), May 1976, p.94

Joseph Smith, the Prophet, was tried as few other men have been tried. From that day when he testified to the world that he had been blessed by a personal visitation from God, our Heavenly Father, and his Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, all the evil forces of the adversary seem to have been turned loose upon him.

Slandered, maligned, tarred and feathered, unjustly cast into prisons, subjected to inhuman treatment and humiliation, his soul was deeply tried….

Joseph Smith was true, faithful, and unwavering to the trust placed in him. - Henry D. Taylor, "A Time of Testing," Ensign (CR) December 1971

If Joseph Smith did not have that interview with God and Jesus Christ the whole Mormon fabric is a failure and a fraud. It is not worth anything on earth. But God did come, God did introduce his Son, God did inspire that man to organize the Church of Jesus Christ, and all the opposition of the world is not able to withstand the truth. It is flourishing, it is growing, and it will grow more. I know beyond a shadow of doubt of the divinity of this work in which we are engaged. It is one of the joys of my life at home and abroad, in private and in public to testify that I know as well as I know that I live, that God lives, that he hears and answers our prayers. - Heber J. Grant, "Conference Report," October 1939, Afternoon Meeting, p.129

A few weeks ago I boarded a plane for South America. The flight attendant directed our attention to a safety video. “It is unlikely,” we were warned, “but if cabin pressure changes, the panels above your seat will open, revealing oxygen masks. If this happens, reach up and pull a mask toward you. Place the mask over your nose and mouth. Slip the elastic strap over your head and adjust the mask if necessary.” Then this caution: “Be sure to adjust your own mask before helping others.”

The negative commentary about the Prophet Joseph Smith will increase as we move toward the Second Coming of the Savior. The half-truths and subtle deceptions will not diminish. There will be family members and friends who will need your help. Now is the time to adjust your own spiritual oxygen mask so that you are prepared to help others who are seeking the truth. - Neil L. Andersen, “Joseph Smith,” Ensign (CR) November 2014

The first and second comings of the Savior complement each other. As Lamb then; as Lion now; not again to be sacrificed, but to ascend the Throne of David and reign over the House of Israel forever. It was to prepare the way before the glorious advent of the King of kings, that God's prophet, revelator and seer, Joseph Smith, was raised up, or rather sent down, to play his noble part in the winding up scene of the great Drama of the Ages. - Orson F. Whitney, "Conference Report," April 1927, Second Day-Morning Meeting, p.101

We need not be timid about testifying of Joseph’s mission as prophet, seer, and revelator, for the Lord has always worked through prophets. Because of the truths restored through Joseph Smith, we know much more about our Heavenly Father and the Savior Jesus Christ. We know of Their divine attributes, Their relationship to each other and to us, and the great plan of redemption that allows us to return to Their presence. – Craig C. Christensen, “A Choice Seer Will I Raise Up,” Ensign (CR) November 2016

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