Thursday, December 19, 2013
Mormon Questions: Joseph Smith
Almost all anti-mormon literature revolves around Joseph Smith. Some of it true and some of it not. So when people hear 'mormon,' Joseph Smith is often the first person to come to mind.
Hence this question: "Do you really believe Joseph Smith was a prophet?"
The answer is yes, I absolutely do!
In case you aren't sure who Joseph Smith is, I'll tell you! Joseph Smith was a 14 year old boy growing up New York in the early 1800s. He prayed in the woods to know which church to join and in turn learned more than he ever expected to know, I'm sure. God and Jesus Christ appeared to him then and told him that he should join no church because the gospel and the priesthood had been taken from the earth when the original apostles died. Joseph later received priesthood power, the Book of Mormon, and instructions from angels. He became the first prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I believe all that and more. I believe that Joseph was sincerely trying to follow God's directive. But I don't believe Joseph Smith was perfect and I don't believe he was more than a man (as in we don't worship Joseph Smith). Only Jesus was perfect and even then most people didn't believe He was the Son of God! They still criticized Him and pointed out perceived flaws.
Carter teaches Elder's Quorum (sunday school for men) and in his class someone brought up the good point that if all prophets were as well documented as Joseph was, they would likely all be controversial figures. Take Moses, for example. He intentionally killed a man! Or Jonas, who planned on forgetting the whole prophet business and moving far away where no one would know him.
The beautiful thing about Joseph Smith's story is how it all relates to our own. God uses imperfect people to do His work on this earth! Though we all are lacking (and He knows perfectly what we lack) we can all serve God in meaningful ways.
If you would like to know more about Joseph Smith and what we believe about him you can look at this website created by our church.