Standing By the Prophet Joseph Smith

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living in an era of unprecedented social media, we have the opportunity to testify of the things in which we believe and hold close to our hearts. As such, one of our fundamental beliefs is that Joesph Smith was a prophet of God who was foreordained to bring forth The Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. He was the instrument by which the fullness of the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ were restored to the earth. We are blessed to be able to testify of these truths. As stated in the popular LDS hymn “Praise to the Man“, we, too, can testify about the “man who communed with Jehovah”, recognizing that “Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer” who was “blessed to open the last dispensation”.

We’re all familiar with his prophetic words: “The Standard of Truth has been erected; 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).

Tens of millions have known—and will eventually know—about the prophet Joseph Smith.  While the persecutions may combine, we will still stand.

The Lord said to Oliver Cowdery, “Therefore be diligent; stand by my servant Joseph, faithfully, in whatsoever difficult circumstances he may be for the word’s sake” (D&C 6:18). So, what does it mean to you to stand by Joseph? A few from the Mormon Women Stand team have shared their thoughts about  Joseph Smith. We invite you to do the same! Please leave your testimony in the comment section below this post, keeping it 200 words or less. Be a part of sharing goodness by sharing your testimony and standing with Joseph. Millions will know of him. Let your faithful voice be one of those that they hear.

Jane Furey I love Joseph Smith. I seek to stand by him.  I love that he wanted to know the truth for himself. I love his courage, faith and his powerful example of what he chose to do after he read James 1:5. It is that courage and faith that allowed him to stay in the sacred grove beyond the forces of darkness that tried to overpower him—until the heavens opened and he saw our Father and our Savior Jesus Christ.

In bringing forth the Book of Mormon, he held fast to his testimony. Despite being reviled, rejected and reproached, Joseph stayed loyal to the answers and instructions he had been given. I owe him a great debt.

Through the never failing faith of this young prophet, I have received so much. The Book of Mormon. Knowledge that God lives, that Christ and the power of His Atonement are real. The gifts and blessings of the Temple. Never forgetting the first lesson, as per Joseph Smith’s example, that I can know these things for myself.

Katy Bikman White I could not have a testimony of the Book of Mormon without having a testimony of Joseph Smith. I believe that that book is the “most correct of any book on earth, and … a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” For the Book of Mormon to be true, Joseph Smith’s account has to be true, and he must be a prophet.

I believe that he earnestly sought the truth, asked in faith, and saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. And because the Lord restored the gospel through him, I believe that his name has been “had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, (JS-H 1:33)” as the Lord told him it would be. While I don’t believe he was infallible, I know without question that he was a prophet of God. I could no more easily doubt this than I could doubt the Book of Mormon.

As Jeffrey R. Holland said, if someone leaves “this church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit.” I would add that to leave this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around both the man and the prophet, Joseph Smith.

Kathryn Skaggs Regardless of what some want to think about Joseph Smith, the Church is true. And whether you struggle with the principle of plural marriage or not, it won’t change a thing in relation to the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It happened, and Joseph Smith is the one whom the Lord called to establish His Church in the last days. What matters is that Joseph was obedient to what the Lord commanded him and that, to me, knowing what I do know about the history is incredible. Who among us has similar faith in keeping covenants we’ve made regardless of the price? Not so many, I think. There is a part of me that feels it a privilege to stand with the prophet, Joseph Smith, and bear my personal testimony that he is indeed a prophet of God. Perhaps this is in some way a test of faith for many of us – I hope we pass. In the midst of the current storm, may each of us who have made sacred covenants to defend the kingdom of God continue to stand with Jesus Christ and feel it a privilege to also stand with the prophet of the restoration and those who continue to hold the very same keys to direct the great work of salvation.

Jan Tolman As women, we have been told that we must stand stronger than ever. Do we believe what Joseph Smith taught was of God? Even though we can’t see him personally to test his character for ourselves, we can still believe his words and know that he truly restored The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints back onto the earth. And each subsequent prophet also carries that mantel of preaching the words of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. People will come and go, challenging us on one or more of these three points, and our testimonies will need to be strong enough to recognize them for what they are and not let their words shake us from our knowledge. I have studied these things for myself. I know Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.

Susan Porter My testimony is not in the mere man Joseph Smith, but in what he became with the Lord’s divine anointment, instruction, and tutelage. I have a firm and unwavering testimony that Joseph Smith was and remains a prophet of the Living God, and that through him the gospel of Jesus Christ in all its fullness and perfect organization was once again restored to the earth. I know as well that through him the Book of Mormon, a second testament of Jesus Christ was translated and brought forth to bless the lives of millions of people, including my own. The contents of the Book of Mormon’s pages are the true word of God, just as is the Bible. Though there will be those that oppose, detract, or try to defame the Prophet Joseph Smith, the work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its message will never fail in its mission and purpose. Criticism does not alter truth, and the truth will go forward despite any outside influence or power, until the Lord needs it to, and until He says, “It is done.” Praise to the one who the world may only know as Joseph Smith, the man. He sealed his testimony with his own innocent blood. He was a martyr for the cause of Christ, and one doesn’t go as calmly to his death, (“I am calm as a summer’s morning”, see D&C 135:4), as he did without being more than just again, a mere man-he was indeed, a prophet.

Diane Robertson When I think about Joseph Smith, my heart fills with gratitude. He gave his whole life to bring the true gospel of Jesus Christ back to the Earth. He faced jail time, physical abuse, false accusations, and all sorts of persecutions, yet he never denied the truth of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon or the restoration of the priesthood and temple covenants. Some of his closest friends left him and caused some of his worst persecutions, yet he forgave them freely. In the face of extreme poverty unknown today, he managed to build two beautiful Temples. He taught the difficult things like the law of consecration and eternal marriage and never faltered. He lived the gospel and he did not deny it. He sealed his testimony with his blood. Even today, he faces persecutions and defamation, yet just as he prophesied the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to grow to fill the whole Earth.

I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. Just as Joseph Smith boldly stood with the Savior, Jesus Christ during his life, I hope to continue that legacy and boldly stand with Jesus Christ through whatever persecutions I may have to face.

Becky Porter I know that Joseph Smith was called before the foundations of the world to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Nephi 13:6). I know that Joseph Smith saw God, the Father and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees just as he testified (Joseph Smith–History 1:17). I know that he translated the Book of Mormon, and I know that through him priesthood keys and authority were restored to the earth. “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).

Angela Fallentine When I think of the Prophet Joseph Smith, I am full of gratitude. Because of Joseph Smith, I have learned that God still speaks to His children, that I am a daughter of Heavenly Parents, that Christ’s church and His priesthood has been restored, that revelation is ongoing and that in holy temples, marriages and families continue beyond the grave. Of these things and so much more, I am indebted to Joseph Smith. As Elder 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].”17

 

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Angela Fallentine

Angela Fallentine is the Co-Founder of Mormon Women Stand. She is a native of Alberta, Canada and has loved living in New Zealand and briefly in Europe. She is a researcher and analyst for a think tank which focuses on social issues, religious freedom and international policy affecting the family at the United Nations.