Joseph Smith - The Lord’s Prophet
During this Christmas season we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The joy of Christmas is magical and addictive. As we share the love and hope that comes with the message of the manger, the shepherds, the wise men and most importantly the baby Jesus we spread that joy and hope and others are touched by the spirit of the Holy Ghost.
While there is nothing more important than the birth of Jesus Christ because of the impact he had on us and all of Heavenly Father’s children, there is another birthday that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint celebrate during December. Joseph Smith was born on December 23, 1805. At the age of 14, Joseph Smith had a glorious vision of Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. He had gone to the Lord in prayer seeking to know what church he should join. The Lord Jesus Christ told him to join no church because none of the established churches at that time had the priesthood authority and ordinances of salvation. In 1827 he translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God from the gold plates. In 1830 he received the Aaronic Priesthood authority from John the Baptist, and the Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James and John and was commanded to once again establish the Church of Jesus Christ again on the earth. Because of the death of the Apostles and through apostasy the church that Jesus had established on the earth during his mortal ministry was taken from the earth in the later part of the 1st century. The time of restitution of all things that Peter had spoken in Jerusalem not long after the Savior’s resurrection (Acts 3:21) was about to be fulfilled.
Speaking to the church in November 1831, the Lord said this of the Prophet Joseph Smith:
should that prophets—
Shortly after the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed because they would not deny their testimonies of Jesus Christ and the Lord’s Church, John Taylor wrote:
Many people think that we worship Joseph Smith – we do not. We worship our Savior Jesus Christ. It is only through Christ and his atonement that we are freed from the bondage of sin and death. Joseph Smith was the Lord’s Prophet just as Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Nephi, Mosiah, Alma, Peter, James, John, Paul and many others. He was a man called of God to do his work. His life was devoted to bringing others to Christ, to teach them what they needed to do to obtain salvation through Jesus Christ. He restored the Church of Jesus Christ again on the earth under the direction of the Lord. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is again established on the foundation of the prophets and apostles with Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner (Ephesians 2:20).
Elder Tad R. Callister spoke in general conference about the Prophet Joseph Smith. He said:
Because of Joseph Smith and the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we have modern prophets again on the earth. We understand more about our Savior and our Heavenly Father than ever before. We understand the plan of salvation and have the priesthood authority to administer the saving ordinances of baptism and the temple ordinances which allow us to live with God and Christ as eternal families. Joseph’s own testimony of the Savior was unlike any other. He said:
white the of saying:
I am grateful to know the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He loves us just as he loved those to whom he ministered during his mortal ministry. He is the reason we celebrate Christmas. I am also grateful for the Prophet Joseph Smith, the prophet of the restoration. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. What a blessing it is to have additional scriptures to help us come closer to Jesus Christ. I am also grateful to know we have a living prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson and living Apostles, who are special witnesses of Jesus Christ to the world today. It is truly a wonderful time to live.
Your comments and questions are welcome.