Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Joseph Smith

I grew up a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and always believed what I was taught, I never really questioned the veracity of it.  One day I found myself in Santiago, Chile as a missionary in the home of a very humble family that appeared to be honest seekers of truth, speaking a language I could hardly understand.  My companion taught the first part of the lesson about our belief in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.  Also how our Father in Heaven has always called prophets to tell us His will and establish His church here on the earth. Then it was my turn to speak.  
I had a captive audience that seemed very interested.  Did I know what I was talking about?  Could Joseph Smith really have seen God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ? Could he really have been commanded to build the Kingdom of God on the earth?  I couldn’t lie to these people, and I wasn’t sure.  I had just traveled halfway around the world to give this sweet gentle family a message, and I felt like I couldn’t do it.  
Hesitantly I started telling the memorized story of Joseph Smith in Spanish for the thousandth time deciding that I could just present the message but not confirm that I knew it was true.  I told about how as a 14 year old boy, Joseph was an honest seeker of truth and attended all of the different denominations of religion that all professed to have the truth and say the others were incorrect.  This caused great confusion in him. One day while diligently seeking answers he read James 1:5 which states: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  
Joseph went into a grove of trees determined to put this scripture to the test and ask God, and this is what he said happened next: I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
It came to part where I was to bare testimony of Joseph Smith.  With questioning and inner turmoil I spake the words “Yo se que Joseph Smith fue un profeta de Dios!” english translation: I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. This is where putting thoughts and feelings into words gets difficult.  As I spoke those words, I felt something more powerful, deep within my soul, than I had ever before.  I knew with everything I was, that the words that I spoke were true.  
Since that day I have often wondered why God would choose that moment and that topic to confirm deep within my soul.  I now know why.  When Joseph was called to be a prophet, he was told that his name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.
During these days of people believing everything that they read on the internet without asking God to confirm what is truth, there is a mountain of evil spoken against him that only continues to grow.

Of all the things God could have confirmed deep in my soul, He took the time to come and visit me that day with this assurance, that Joseph Smith was truly His prophet.  With all of the fervency of my soul, I bear this witness, that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ, and that the Church of Jesus Christ truly is the Church of Jesus Christ.

Randy

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