Tad R. Callister said “Suppose for a moment someone told you these three facts about a New Testament personality and nothing more: first, the Savior said of this man, “O thou of little faith” (Matthew ); second, this man, in a moment of anger, cut off an ear of the high priest’s servant; and third, this man denied knowing who the Savior was on three occasions, even though he had walked with Him daily. If that is all you knew or focused upon, you might have thought this man a scoundrel or a no-good, but in the process you would have failed to come to know one of the greatest men who ever walked the earth: Peter the Apostle.
Similarly, attempts have been made by some to focus upon or magnify some minor weaknesses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, but in that process they too have missed the mark, the man, and his mission. Joseph Smith was the Lord’s anointed to restore Christ’s Church to the earth.”
Elder Lawrence Corbridge said “There is no dispute about what Joseph Smith accomplished, only how he did what he did and why. And there are not many options. He was either pretender or prophet. Either he did what he did alone, or he had the help of heaven. Look at the evidence, but look at all of the evidence, the entire mosaic of his life, not any single piece. Most importantly, do as young Joseph and “ask … God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given you.” This is not only how you may learn the truth about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith; it is also the pattern to know the truth of all things.”
Gaining a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith is easier said than done. You just don’t wake up one day believing he was a Prophet. You have to work at it, but you can get one. A few things that helped me gain a testimony of Joseph Smith was reading The Book of Mormon, although he did not write it, he translated it through the power of God. Another way was reading the Testimony of Joseph Smith pamphlet. It tells of his experiences from just before the First Vision to the Restoration of the Priesthood. I know that as you read his words you will gain a testimony that as you read his words you will gain a testimony that he was a Prophet. I issue the same challenge to you as Elder Neil A. Anderson did during Conference. Read the Testimony of Joseph Smith often and record yourself reading it out-loud then listen to it often. Listening to yourself say it will help.
Something that I am grateful for is that I have been able to go to Palmyra, where Joseph Smith received the First Vision, started translating the Book of Mormon and Established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was able to go to Nauvoo where the Saints settled for a little while and go to Carthage where Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum where martyred. Each of those places are places where the Spirit can be felt. I was able to learn things at each of those places that helped strengthen my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. But. You don’t have to go all the way to Illinois or New York to gain a testimony of him. What you have to do is to know him by his fruits, because like it says in the Bible “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” You can’t forget a key point though. Prayer. If you ask God with a sincere heart with a real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. God will answer your sincere prayer. I know he will.
Have the best week ever!!!
(email from October 27, 2014)