Sunday, December 15, 2013

Some thoughts about the Prophet Joseph Smith

December 23 is the 208th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s birth. As the founder and first Prophet leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints he led a life of extraordinary accomplishments and experiences, most of which were written about extensively at the time.

Even though he had only 3 years of formal schooling at the age of 24 he published an over 500 page book that he translated from ancient plates which he said had been given to him by an angel. That he had such plates can hardly be disputed as eleven men gave sworn testimony that they had seen the plates and the engravings on them. It is true that three of those were members of his own family and one was a neighbor but the remaining seven were men whom he had never met until they heard about his experiences and became interested enough to investigate. That same year Joseph organized the church which now has a membership of over fifteen million.

During the following 14 years before his martyrdom he directed the church, sent out missionaries, wrote extensively and oversaw the building of two temples. He also founded the city of Nauvoo, Illinois which was as large as the city of Chicago at his death.

My great grandfather’s family lived close to Joseph and Emma Smith in Nauvoo. He attended the same school as their children and was baptized by Joseph Smith. Before his death he dictated a brief history of his life which included the following: "I have seen the Prophet and heard him preach many times. I have seen him on parade ... at the head of the Nauvoo Legion. ... He was the handsomest man on horse back or in any other position that I ever saw. He was a very jovial, sociable man. He loved children. If he would find some boys playing ball he would stop and take a hand a short time." I am sure he agreed with Brigham Young, who said: "I feel like shouting hallelujah all the time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith."

by Nola Smith a Mormon Great Grandma